American Treasure: Bob Barker

On Mondays, we like to honor a real American Treasure, usually a person who represents something great about America. Who doesn't love Bob Barker? He was born of average means in Washington state in 1923. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father was an electrical foreman.

Bob Barker
 Photo via fireballk2588 @ flickr

How did this average guy come to be the game show host that we know and love? He began working at a college radio station where he went to school. His studies were interrupted when he went into training as a fighter pilot during WWII. When he came home, Barker continued his education and his work at the radio station. 

In the early 1950's Barker was "discovered" by Ralph Edwards, a game show producer. In 1956 he became the host of the show "Truth or Consequences." Later, he became host of "The Price Is Right" which is the longest running television show in history. Barker's likable demeanor no doubt helped the show earn this title. He ended each show with a comment about protecting animals in honor of his late wife who loved animals. 

Barker continues to help animals in his retirement. We found this article on treehugger.com claiming that Barker recently donated $5 million to a foundation to help fight Japanese Whaling in the Antartic.