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Profile of Bob Barker, Animal Rights Supporter

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Bob Barker

Bob Barker accepts an award from Madeline Bernstien, Los Angeles President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, in 2007.

Toby Canham / Getty Images

Known For:

Animal rights supporter Bob Barker is a retired television game show host, most known for hosting The Price is Right.

Personal Info:

Robert William Barker was born December 12, 1923, in Darrington, WA. In 1929, Barker's father died, and Barker has a half-brother as a result of his mother's subsequent marriage. Barker attended Drury University on basketball scholarship, but his education was interrupted by WWII, when he served in the Navy as a fighter pilot. In 1945, Barker married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon, who passed away in 1981. After the war, Barker returned to Drury and graduated in 1947 with a degree in economics.

Television Career:

Barker is best known for hosting The Price is Right for 35 years (1972-2007), Truth or Consequences for 19 years (1956-1975), and the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants for 21 years (1966-1987) although he also had brief stints hosting other television shows. He is named in the Guinness Book of World Records as "The Most Generous Game Show Host" in television history and the "Most Durable Performer," and has won 19 Daytime Emmy Awards. Barker retired from The Price is Right in 2007, and wrote an autobiography, Priceless Memories (Buy Direct), in 2009.

Animal Rights Activism - Early Years:

The former game show host is a long-time animal protection supporter. Barker first became interested in animal issues when his wife, Dorothy Jo, stopped wearing the fur coats he had bought her. In 1979, Barker became vegetarian as a result of his wife’s influence. After being the MC for the Miss America pageant for over 20 years, Barker stepped down when he asked the pageant producers to stop offering fur coats as prizes and they refused.

Recent Animal Rights Activism:

In later seasons of The Price is Right, Barker ended every show with “Help control the pet population. Have your pets spayed or neutered.” Barker has also established the DJ&T Foundation, named after Dorothy Jo and Barker’s mother Mathilda (Tilly), to financially support low cost spay/neuter clinics.

A celebrity supporter of the Great American Meatout, Barker is vegetarian, but stated in 2009, “I’m not bright enough to be a vegan . . . I certainly don’t eat meat, fish, fowl. I don’t eat dairy products . . . I’m not quite perfect, I don’t think, as far as being a vegan is concerned.”

Million Dollar Donations:

In 2010, Barker donated $5 million to Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to fight whaling, as well as $1 million to SHARK to fight pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania.

Barker has also donated $2 million to his alma mater, Drury University, to establish the Dorothy Jo Barker Endowed Professorship of Animal Rights and to establish an animal ethics course at Drury.

Barker has also made several million-dollar donations to law schools such as the University of Virginia, Columbia Law School, and Stanford Law School, for the establishment of animal law programs.

Animal Interviews:

Bob Barker was interviewed on Go Vegan Radio on February 7, 2009. Listen online through the Flash Player, or download the interview as either high quality or low quality. Barker was also interviewed by Stephen Wells of Animal Legal Defense Fund in April of 2009, and that interview is available on YouTube.
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