Bob Barker, born in 1923, is known by most as the
amiable host of television game shows such as The Price
is Right, Truth or Consequences and others. But,
more importantly, he's known to many as a man with a
heart of gold and a seemingly tireless dedication to
He has always been an animal lover and became an
activist in 1979 after becoming a vegetarian and,
subsequently, becoming more aware of just how
appallingly animals were being treated. Since that time,
he has generously given his time and money to help
animals in every circumstance including shelters,
circuses and the fur industry.
Barker does not wear leather and has been an
outspoken opponent of the use of fur on his shows. In
1987, he urged the producers of the Miss Universe
Pageant to discontinue having the contestants wear fur.
At first, they agreed and when they reneged on their
promise, Barker resigned as host. He was also
instrumental in changing some of the prizes awarded on
The Price is Right. They stopped giving away fur
coats, anything made of leather, hunting safaris and
don't include bullfights with a trip to Spain.
Regarding "Fur Free Friday"
(the day after Thanksgiving), Barker says, "I urge
anyone who has the opportunity to speak out against fur
to make their contempt for fur known at every
opportunity, and to point out that fur is no longer
chic… that it is a thing of the past. Most of the young
people are not wearing fur. It’s the older people who
wear it. When this generation is no more, hopefully fur
will be no more."
he founded the DJ&T Foundation, named for his beloved,
late wife, Dorothy Jo and his mother, Tilly, both of
whom were animal lovers. It was created to fund animal
rescue facilities and neutering programs all over the
United States supporting low cost Spay/Neuter Clinics
and Voucher Programs. Barker has endowed the
foundation so it may continue funding projects
years, Barker ended episodes of the Price is right with
the phrase, "Help control the pet population, have your
pets spayed or neutered". Following in his
footsteps, Drew Carey continued this tradition after
succeeding him as host of the game show.
A man who puts his money where his
mouth is, Bob Barker made two staggering donations in
In March, he donated $2.5 millions dollars to PETA
to build a new facility in Los Angeles.
In January, Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society received a $5,000,000 donation
to purchase and outfit a ship to help prevent
illegal whaling. The ship was named for Barker.
If there's a lesson
to be learned from Bob Barker, it is
simply that it's never too late to begin
a new more meaningful, chapter in one's life.
He was nearly 60 years old when he
became an animal activist and champion.
And what a difference he has made in
lives of hundreds of thousands of
animals and human beings in the years
since. And while we don't all have the
same financial resources as Barker, we
do have time and, perhaps, we should set
aside more of it to help improve the
lives of those less fortunate than
He is truly inspirational.