Bob Barker, Longtime Host of “Price is Right,” Dead at 99

bob barker3

Robert William Barker, the legendary television game show host of CBS’s “Price is Right” from 1972 to 2007, died of natural causes in his home on Saturday, August 26, 2023, at age 99. To many of us, it feels like we lost an old friend. His catchphrase, “Come on Down!”, made countless people’s dreams come true. He entertained audiences in both the studio and at home with his charismatic personality.

Bob Barker, Beloved Television Personality

Barker appeared on national television for more than 50 years. He first started his career as a radio announcer. He did a little acting and hosted a few lesser-known game shows before starting as the host of “Truth or Consequences” in 1956, where he stayed for almost 20 years before hosting “The Price is Right”. His work on “Truth or Consequences” earned him recognition from the Guinness World Records as television’s, “most durable performer”. During his career, Barker also hosted various television specials and events ranging from beauty pageants to holiday programs. His ability to engage with audiences and tremendous presence made him a sought-after host for a wide variety of occasions.

price is right
FremantleMedia, ThePriceisRight20072022, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

However, it was his role as the host of “The Price Is Right” for 35 years that truly catapulted Barker to television stardom and cemented his legacy. For this show, he holds the Guinness World Record for the “Longest Career as a Game Show Host of the Same Show.”

Interesting Facts About Bob Barker

Bob Barker had a good life. Here are some interesting facts that highlight his diverse and impactful life, showcasing his contributions to entertainment, animal welfare, and philanthropy.

Marine Corps Fighter Pilot:

Before becoming a television personality, Barker served in the U.S. Navy as a fighter pilot during World War II. He trained as a naval aviator and flew various combat missions in the Pacific theater.

Game Show Host Extraordinaire:

Barker hosted over 6,000 episodes of “The Price is Right”, making him one of the longest-serving game show hosts in television history.

Animal Rights Advocate:

One of the lesser-known aspects of Barker’s life is his strong advocacy for animal rights. He is a staunch supporter of animal welfare and used his influence and wealth to promote spaying and neutering pets to control the pet population. He also famously ended each episode of “The Price Is Right” with a reminder to viewers to have their pets spayed or neutered.

Generous Philanthropist:

Barker is known for his significant charitable contributions. He donated millions of dollars to various causes, including animal rights organizations, health research, and educational institutions. His philanthropy extended beyond just writing checks; he actively supported and worked with organizations to make a positive impact.

Retirement and Legacy:

Barker retired from hosting “The Price Is Right” in 2007 and was succeeded by Drew Carey. Even in retirement, he remained active in his advocacy work and continued to make public appearances. His impact on the game show industry and his commitment to various causes left a lasting legacy.

bob barker, 1975
CBS, Bob Barker 1975, marked as public domain, more details on Wikimedia Commons

Bob Barker Was More Than a Celebrity

While Bob Barker is widely known for his public persona as a television host and animal rights advocate, he has also had a private personal life. Here are some interesting details about him.

Born on December 12, 1923, in Darrington, Washington, Barker grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He attended Drury College (now Drury University) in Springfield, Missouri, where he majored in economics and drama. He married twice. His first marriage to Dorothy Jo Gideon lasted from 1945 until she died in 1981. They had one son together, Robert “Robbie” Barker. In 1982, Barker married his longtime partner, Dorothy Jo’s best friend, Dorothy Jo “DJ” Barker (different from his first wife with the same name), who passed away in 2019.

Barker was committed to health and fitness throughout his life. He was an advocate for healthy living and often emphasized the importance of staying active and taking care of one’s body. In addition, Barker’s passion for animal rights extended beyond his public persona. He was a vegetarian and a vocal supporter of various animal welfare organizations. He used his fame and fortune to promote animal rights causes and supported initiatives to end animal cruelty and promote responsible pet ownership.

Outside of his television career and advocacy work, Barker enjoyed a range of hobbies. He was an avid golfer and often participated in celebrity golf tournaments. He also had an interest in collecting classic cars.

Bob Barker’s personal life was characterized by his dedication to the causes he believed in, his commitment to healthy living, and his efforts to make a positive impact on various issues. While he achieved fame through his television career, his personal life revealed a multifaceted individual who cared deeply about making a difference in the world.

credit source for cover image: Iaksge at English WikipediaBob Barker at WWE cropCC BY-SA 3.0


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