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Bob Barker, long time host of 'Price is Right' and former Mission resident, dies at 99
Spent most his childhood living on the Rosebud Indian Reservation
Bob Barker, the longtime host of “The Price is Right” and a former South Dakota resident, has passed away at the age of 99.
“It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker has left us,” longtime publicist Roger Neal said in a statement Saturday.
Barker hosted the popular television game show on CBS for over 50 years– retiring in 2007.
Born in Washington, Barker spent a majority of his childhood on the Rosebud Indian Reservation as an enrolled member of the tribe. In Mission, Barker’s mother, Matilda Tarleton Barker, was a teacher at a local school on the reservation, while his father was one-quarter Native American- making him one-eighth Sioux. Matilda would eventually become the superintendent of schools for Todd County, and wrote a book about the history of South Dakota intended for a sixth-grade audience.
Barker was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1980.
“I’ve always bragged about being part Indian,” Barker told the Associated Press in 1951. “Because they are a people to be proud of. And the Sioux were the greatest warriors of them all.”
Barker was the host of another popular game show “Truth or Consequences” prior to his tenure with the Price is Right. His success in front of the camera opened the door for Barker to host a variety of television shows and the Miss America and Miss Universe pageants. But his life was more prominently defined by his animal rights advocacy. A vegetarian, Barker refused to work with or market for organizations that treated animals unfairly. He donated millions of dollars to prestigious law schools across the country– allowing them to create programs to better study the field of animal rights.
Barker will be buried in Los Angeles, alongside his wife Dorothy Jo who passed away in 1981.