Bob Barker Talks With ALDF About His “Priceless Memories”Posted on April 6, 2009
Bob Barker may best be known as the beloved host of the longest running TV game show in history. But “The Price is Right” host is also a long-time advocate for animals–a passion he explores in depth in his new memoir, Priceless Memories. ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells recently had a chance to chat with Bob about his upcoming book, his work for animals–and why he is such a big supporter of animal law as the most effective means to fighting cruelty.
Many of his fans will recall that Barker’s passion and dedication to animals prompted him to end every "Price is Right" show with a call for spaying and neutering dogs and cats. In 1987, it impelled him to resign from a lucrative 21-year job as host of the Miss U.S.A. and Miss Universe pageants because their organizers insisted on having the contestants wear fur coats.
In 1994, he established the DJ&T Foundation with the goal of helping solve the tragic problem of animal overpopulation. The Foundation, named in honor of his wife, Dorothy Jo, and his mother, Tillie–the women who inspired his passion for animals–funds low cost spay/neuter clinics and subsidizes hundreds of spay/neuter voucher programs across the country in an effort to help control animal overpopulation.
When the production company that owns "The Price is Right" wanted to honor Barker in 2001, they allocated $500,000 to do so. He let them know that the money would be best spent by donating it to Harvard Law School, which established the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights. He has since contributed another $500,000 to the fund and has also established similar million dollar endowments at the law schools of Stanford, Columbia, Duke, UCLA, Northwestern and Georgetown; his most recent gift was to the University of Virginia in January–$1 million dedicated to creating an animal law program at their law school.
At ALDF’s 2007 Future of Animal Law conference at Harvard Law School, Barker was honored with the first-ever ALDF Lifetime Achievement Award. Barker, who accepted his award via video, reminded a packed house to spay and neuter their companion animals! As he explains in Priceless Memories, since his retirement in 2007, Barker now devotes most of this time to the cause of animal rights. “As proud as I may be of my nineteen Emmys and my fifty years on television, I really feel that some of the most valuable things I may do in my life may be things I have yet to do. And I suspect it will be in the area of animal rights.”
Hear what Bob had to say about becoming vegetarian, the “fur flap,” his support of animal law, and his dog, Jessie, who is sure not to be left out of the conversation. Come on down and enjoy, as one of America’s most iconic TV personalities returns to your screen to talk for a few minutes with ALDF!