“In the 70s, he was a legend. Today, many can’t even recognize him.”

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In 1972, many significant events took place. Don McLean’s iconic song “American Pie” dominated the charts, Richard Nixon was president while his administration was embroiled in the Watergate scandal, NASA began its Space Shuttle program, and Bob Barker, the charismatic host of the game show The Price is Right, gave away brand new cars worth under $4000.

Bob Barker became synonymous with The Price is Right and a household name, captivating audiences for 35 years. And this year, Barker celebrates his 100th birthday – a remarkable milestone.

Bob Barker and his wife Dorothy Jo Gideon
Bob Barker’s life began on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. During his time in the United States Navy Reserve, where he was trained as a fighter pilot during World War II, he met his high school sweetheart Dorothy Jo Gideon at a concert by Ella Fitzgerald.

They married in 1945, and after leaving the Navy, Barker pursued a degree in economics. Barker’s path to fame began when he caught the attention of game show producer Ralph Edwards while hosting a radio show in Los Angeles. Edwards was looking for a new host for the TV game show Truth or Consequences. Barker’s popularity soared as he entertained the audience on the show from 1956 to 1975.

In 1967, he also began hosting the Miss Universe and Miss USA beauty pageants. But it was in 1972 when Barker stepped onto the stage of The Price is Right, propelling both himself and the show to superstardom.

The Price is Right holds the record as the longest-running game show in history, and Barker, who became executive producer in 1988, received 14 Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and four Emmys for his role as executive producer.

Partnerships and Philanthropy
In an interview with the Television Academy Foundation, Barker fondly spoke of his late wife and credited her for his professional success. He said, “She gave me the confidence to even try what I set out to do. Not only did she encourage me, she worked right alongside me.” Unfortunately, Gideon passed away in 1981 at the age of 57 from lung cancer, leaving her husband after 36 years of marriage.

Bob Barker found love again with Nancy Burnet, his partner of 40 years. Burnet believes Barker’s limited medication intake over the years has contributed to his good health. Despite turning 99, Barker only takes one prescription medication for his thyroid. His dedication to a healthy lifestyle, including a long-standing vegetarian diet, has played a significant role in his well-being and vitality.

Throughout his career, Barker made numerous guest appearances, including a memorable visit to The Price is Right on his 90th birthday. He never tired of the show and always approached it with enthusiasm. His infectious energy and passion for entertaining the audience contributed to the show’s success.

But beyond the glitz and glamour of show business, Bob Barker used his platform to advocate for animal rights. Inspired by his late wife, who was ahead of her time in terms of ethical choices, Barker left a lasting impact in this area. He actively supports animal rights organizations through his DJ&T Foundation, named after his wife and his mother Matilda or “Tilly,” both passionate advocates for animals. Barker has donated millions of dollars to establish animal rights curricula at law schools, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Columbia, and Northwestern.

Nancy Burnet, who met Barker at an animal adoption event he hosted in 1983, is a staunch advocate for animal protection alongside Barker. Together, they oppose the entertainment of animals and work to raise awareness about animal abuse.

Bob Barker’s incredible journey spans nearly a century, marked by numerous successes and contributions. His influence on the world, both as an entertainer and as an animal rights activist, is unparalleled. We are privileged to have such a compassionate and dedicated individual as Barker, who uses his celebrity status to improve the lives of innocent animals.

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