This hero is still going strong at 99 because to his extensive history as a performer and animal activist

In 1972, a lot occurred. The No. 1 song at the time was “American Pie” by Don McLean, Richard Nixon was in office and his administration was attempting to hide its involvement in the Watergate Scandal. NASA’s Space Shuttle programme had also just been launched, and Bob Barker, the host of the Price is Right, was giving away brand-new cars, which at the time had a value of under $4000.

Bob Barker is a household figure and entertainment icon who is synonymous with The Price is Right. He hosted the well-known game show for 35 years.

Wikipedia Commons

And Barker is commemorating a century of life this year.

Barker, a Sioux Tribe member who grew up on an Indian reservation in South Dakota, met Dorothy Jo Gideon at an Ella Fitzgerald event. In 1945, while on leave from the United States Navy Reserve, where he trained as a fighter pilot during World War II, he married Gideon, his high school sweetheart. He never participated in active military service, but he did go back to school and earn a degree in economics.

When game show producer Ralph Edwards was seeking for a new host for Truth or Consequences, the first game show to air on television, Barker, who is now 99, was hosting a radio show in Los Angeles. Barker’s reputation was growing as he hosted the enormously successful show from 1956 to 1975, and in 1967 he began hosting Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants.

Then it took place. He made an appearance on the set of The Price is Right in 1972, catapulting both him and the programme into superstardom.


In 1988, Barker took over as executive producer of The Price is Right, which is still the longest-running game show in history. Barker was honoured with 14 Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Game Show Host and four Emmys for his work as executive producer.

Barker said of his late wife in an interview with the Television Academy Foundation in 2008: “She gave me the confidence to even try to do what I set out to do. She actively supported me while I worked, not simply encouraged me.

Gideon, 57, passed away from lung cancer in 1981, leaving behind her husband of 36 years.

“I never had any desire to get married again. I was married to her. Added Barker.

But he also managed to find Nancy Burnet, who has been with Barker for 40 years, a new partner. Nancy believes that one of the main elements in Barker’s long-term good health is his sparing usage of prescription drugs.


In an interview with Fox News Digital just before his 99th birthday in December, Burnet, now 79, revealed something unexpected: “He’s going to be 99, and he takes one prescription medication, and that’s for his thyroid.” And everybody who visits him or works in health care will remark, “Well, we’d like a list of his medications.” Let me just show you the bottle, I’ll say. I’m done now. Therefore, he does not take any medication for high pressure, cholesterol, or any of the numerous other conditions that most people get as they age,” remarked Burnet, making fun of his one prescription:

He still has a terrific sense of humour, and his health is excellent for his age. He has lived an extremely fortunate life.

But things weren’t always like that.

In order to treat a partially blocked artery and lower his risk of stroke, Barker underwent surgery in 1999 after noticing what he characterised as clumsiness in his hand. He had prostate surgery a few months after having a stroke in 2002. Being a fan of the sun, he has also experienced serious back issues, a string of falls necessitating additional hospital visits, and multiple occurrences of mild skin cancer.

Barker on Truth or Consequences, circa 1958 / Wikipedia Commons

Burnet describes how she intervened and gave Barker, a lifelong vegetarian, vitamins to help him get stronger. It was intended to improve everything, not to replace meals. given that he wasn’t feeling well, to take that in addition to his meals. Not only did he not appear healthy, but he also appeared worn out and rather fragile. And if you’re going to be a vegetarian and/or vegan, you had better be knowledgeable in your endeavours.

He made a few guest appearances after leaving his post as host of The Price is Right, which is now hosted by comedian Drew Carey, notably in 2013 on his 90th birthday.

He never got bored working on the show, according to Burnet. I don’t know if I could perform the same show every day. He never got tired of it, though. So perhaps he was always willing to do it and was delighted to do it, which is why it was so successful.

Barker echoed this remark on Good Morning America in 2007.

“I really don’t feel ready to let go of it. I want to leave them wanting more, therefore I believe it’s a good moment to say goodbye.

Wikipedia Commons

Vanna White competed on Price is Right before becoming famous for appearing on Wheel of Fortune, women contestants dropping their tops after bouncing up and down in excitement.

The greatest aspect of the show, though, was that it offered Barker a platform to raise public consciousness about animal welfare.

With his show-ending catchphrase, “This is Bob Barker reminding you to help control the pet population,” Barker is also well recognised as an animal rights activist. Have your animals fixed or spayed.

He attributes the motivation behind his animal involvement to his late wife, Gideon.

Barker stated on Good Morning America that “She was ahead of her time.” Before anyone could stop her, she removed her fur coat. She switched to vegetarianism before many other people did. The same thing was progressively done with her as well.


In fact, he has given millions of dollars to his DJ&T Foundation, which bears the names of Gideon and his mother, Matilda or “Tilly,” who also loves animals, and which has been successful in establishing animal-rights curricula at law schools like Harvard, Columbia, and Northwestern.

In 2015, Barker told the Associated Press that “if young people are introduced to the terrible exploitation and mistreatment of animals in society, it will help influence them in anything they do.” “You need legislation when encouragement and education fail.”

Together with Barker, Burnet, whom he first met at an animal adoption event he sponsored in 1983, promotes animal protection while opposing animal entertainment.

Facebook Comments