Longtime The Price is Right host Bob Barker has died at the age of 99

Bob Barker, longtime host of game show The Price is Right, has died at the age of 99.

Barker’s publicist Roger Neal confirmed his death early Saturday morning and said he died of natural causes at his home in the Hollywood Hills.

“It is with deep sadness that we announce that the greatest MC that ever lived, Bob Barker, has left us,” Neal said in a statement.

Nancy Burnet, a longtime friend of Barker and co-executive of the staunch animal activist’s estate, also released a statement on his death:

I am so proud of the groundbreaking work Barker and I have done together to expose animal cruelty in the entertainment industry and also work to improve the plight of abused and exploited animals in the United States and around the world. We were good friends over those 40 years and we will miss him.

  • TV presenter Bob Barker poses for photographers during his latest taping of "The price is correct" at CBS Television City Studios in Los Angeles on June 6, 2007. Barker hosted the "The price is correct" for 35 years.  (Source: Mark Davis/Getty Images)
  • Television presenter Bob Barker attends the 90th annual Hollywood Sign Trust celebration of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Sign Trust at Drai's Hollywood September 19, 2013.  (Source: Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images)
  • TV presenter Bob Barker laughs during his recent taping of "The price is correct" The show took place on June 6, 2007 at CBS Television City Studios in Los Angeles, California.  (Credit: Mark Davis/Getty Images)

Barker’s obituary can be read in part below:

Robert William Barker was born on December 12, 1923 in Darrington, Washington and grew up on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in Mission, South Dakota. In the United States Indian census records, Barker was listed as a member of the Sioux Indian tribe. His mother, Matilda Valandra (“Tillie”), was a school teacher and his father, Byron Barker, was a forman who installed the high-rise electric line across Washington state. While attending high school in Missouri, Barker met his future wife, Dorothy Jo, and they began dating when Barker was 15 years old. old. Barker was educated on a basketball scholarship to Drury University, where he was a member of the Sigma Nu Fraternity.

In 1943, Barker enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve during World War II. While in college, he worked part-time on radio at KTTS Radio in Springfield, Missouri. Barker and his wife moved to Florida, where he became an editor and announcer for radio station WWPG.

In 1950, Barker and his wife moved to California so Barker could pursue a career in radio and television. Together they began working on Barker’s career. He was given his own radio show, The Bob Barker Show, which ran in Burbank for six years. Barker then hosted an audience participation radio show on KNX Radio in Los Angeles.

At the same time, Ralph Edwards, who was looking for a television host for his long-running radio game show Truth or Consequences, heard Barker on the radio, was smitten with his voice and style, and offered him the job of hosting the television version of TOC.

Barker said, “The day I met Ralph Edwards changed my life forever.”

Edwards hired Barker to host the popular nightly television show Truth or Consequences. Barker hosted the show from 1956 to 1975. The two remained lifelong friends. In fact, Barker showed up at Ralph Edwards’ front door every year Edwards gifted his show to Barker, and gave him a thank you gift every year until Edwards passed away in 2005.

From 1967 to 1987, Barker also hosted the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants on CBS, making history as the longest-running pageant host in beauty pageant history. In 1987, Barker successfully persuaded pageant officials not to use furs on the 1987 broadcast of the MISS USA contest from Albuquerque, New Mexico. America, known as “Fur Flap,” tuned in to see if Barker would host the show as it made national headlines for Barker’s comments at the pageant and making ratings history.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk also released a statement on Barker’s death, which read, among other things:

Bob’s influence on the entertainment industry is undeniable, but what mattered most to him was using his voice and his preeminence to protect animals. Of course, everyone is familiar with his “neuter and spay” parting on The Price Is Right — a show on which he refused to allow fur prices — but he was also one of the first stars to go vegetarian, more than 30 years old years ago. He joined PETA urging families to stay away from SeaWorld, calling for the closure of cruel bear dens disguised as tourist attractions, calling for Hollywood to take action to protect the animals used in film and television, and as a Navy veteran calling for the end of Military medical exercises on live animals.

Barker is survived by half-brother Kent Valendra, half-nephews Robert and Chip Valendra, and half-niece Vickie Valendra Kelly, as well as millions of fans across the country.

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