Bob Barker-An American Icon

I love Bob Barker and so does most of America. When you think about it, how can you NOT love him?�¯�¿�½ He is stylish, charming, witty, a sensitive animal rights advocate, and host of one of, if not THE most�¯�¿�½favorite of American game shows, The Price is Right.

Bob (Robert William Barker) was born December 12, 1923Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½in Darrington, Washington, but grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Rosebud, South Dakota.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Bob’s motherÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Matilda, was a schoolteacher, and his father, Byron,Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½was an electrical power foreman who fell to his death from a utility pole when Bob was only 6-years-old.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Bob alsoÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½has a half-brother named Kent.

Bob and I have something in common, we both attended Drury University in�¯�¿�½Springfield, Mo.�¯�¿�½ He went to school on a basketball scholarship and was a member of the Epsilon Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity at Drury.�¯�¿�½ World War II called and interruped his studies, and he enlisted in the Navy as a fighter pilot, yet the war ended before he was stationed to a seagoing squadron.�¯�¿�½ He went back to Drury after the war and finished his education, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in economics.

Active in radio, Bob moved to California and hosted an audience-participation radio show in Los Angeles.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ He was promptly discovered by Ralph Edwards, a game show producer, who, by chance, happened to be listening.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ He liked Bob’s style and voice very much, which is understandable.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ In 1956, Bob took over hosting the game show Truth or Consequences, which made him a star.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Bob had a winning charm with the contestants, who just adored him, as did theÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½viewers.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ He would host the show for eighteen years.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ I have a very vague recollection of my family watching Truth or Consequences when I was barely 3 or 4.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½

Bob married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon, who heÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½affectionatley called “DJ.”Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ On their first date, Bob took herÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½to an Ella Fitzgerald Concert, which is quiteÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½an impressive first date.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½They marriedÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½in 1945, and were together 36 years until DJ died of lung cancer.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½No children came to the marriage, but it was Bob’s mother and DJ who inspired Bob’s love and advocation of animals.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½Bob has never remarried.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ His mother lived with him afterÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½the death of her second husband up until her own death in 1993.

He has been an outspoken activists for animal rights since the death of his wife in 1981, always reminding us to “have our pets spayed or neutered, to help control the pet population,”Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½which I feel is good advice.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½It is very important.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Bob set and example for other game show hosts like Jack Barry and Bert ConvyÃ?¯Ã?¿Ã?½to give the same advice.Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ Bob has worked hard to help fund rescue and care for animals through his DJ&T Foundation, which have facilities all over the country.

After Truth or Consequences, Bob hosted a short-lived game show called the Family Show in 1967.�¯�¿�½ In 1972 he began hosting The Price is Right, and I am so glad he did!�¯�¿�½ The show is into its 4th decade, getting ready, in fact, to celebrate its 35th year, �¯�¿�½and Bob shows no signs of slowing down, at age 82.�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½

“In 2002, The Price Is Right celebrated 30 consecutive years on the air. It is the longest running game show of all time in North America, and is also the longest running five-day-a-week daytime entertainment program (and only The Tonight Show’s 50 years on the air has surpassed it in terms of overall five-day-a-week American entertainment television programming). Overall, in daytime programming (excluding Saturday and Sunday), The Price Is Right is ranked 6th among the longest-continuing television programs (NBC’s Today ranks the longest, followed by four daytime soap operas: Guiding Light, As the World Turns, General Hospital, and Days Of Our Lives). It has won its timeslot (11 a.m. Eastern) for the past 25 years, with its closest competitor (currently ABC’s The View) normally getting about half of TPiR’s ratings.”Ã?¯Ã?¿Ã?½ (Wikipedia)

Bob has been working in week-day television for 50 years, setting a record in work longevity.�¯�¿�½ He is also the oldest man to host a game show, saying that he truly enjoys it and has no plans to retire soon, which is great news to fans like me.�¯�¿�½ The show would just never be the same without him.�¯�¿�½ He has suffered some health problems, including 2 strokes over that last several years, but Bob does stay active, playing golf,and practicing martial arts daily.�¯�¿�½ He is a vegetarian, and believes in eating healthy.�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½

Bob Barker is a shining example of what a game show host should be, and I hope he is here to do it for a long time to come.�¯�¿�½ You go, Bob!

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