A lot happened in 1972. Don McLean’s hit song “American Pie” was No. 1, Richard Nixon was president, his administration was trying to cover up its involvement in the Watergate Scandal, NASA’s Space Shuttle program was officially launched, and Bob Barker, the host of a new game show called the Price is Right, was giving away brand new cars that were then valued at less than $4000.

Synonymous with The Price is Right, Bob Barker is an entertainment icon, a cross-generational household name, who hosted the popular game show for 35 years.

And this year, Barker is celebrating a century of life.

Growing up on an Indian reservation in South Dakota, Barker–a member of the Sioux Tribe–met his future wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon at an Ella Fitzgerald concert. He married Gideon, his high school sweetheart in 1945, when he was on leave from the United States Navy Reserve, where during World War II, he trained as a fighter pilot. He never served on active duty but did return to university and graduated with an economics degree.

Barker, now 99, was hosting a radio show in Los Angeles when he captured the attention of Ralph Edwards, a game show producer who was looking for a new host of Truth or Consequences, the first game show to be broadcast on TV. Hosting the hugely popular show from 1956 to 1975, Barker’s popularity was rising, and in 1967, he started hosting Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants.

And then it happened. In 1972, he appeared on the stage of The Price is Right, which launched him and the show, into superstardom.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *