Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Price is Right: Behind Bob Barker's Million Dollar Smile Are Several Million Dollars of Donations

Are you ready for the media blitz, ad nauseum? The Price Is Right TV game show host Bob Barker is retiring on June 15, after 35 years of hosting the show that you probably have seen only when you were home with the flu. Or maybe you really do know how much that dinette set is worth and want to pit your wits against the TV audience.

Before you throw something at your television throughout all the upcoming tributes to Barker, consider this:

Six of the nation's premier law schools--Columbia, Duke, Stanford, UCLA, Yale and Northwestern--have each been given $1 million endowments to train future animal law attorneys. That $6 million came from Bob Barker, who was here in Boston recently to soeak at the 2007 Animal Law Conference at Harvard Law School.

The new legal study institutes at the Barker-funded universities will help train lawyers to specialize in cases involving animals and provide a resource for lawyers and lawmakers in the field who find themselves involved in interpreting, making or defending laws that affect all animals, including horses.

Harvard received a separate endowment from the producers of TPIR to establish the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights. The Fund will support teaching and research at the Law School in the emerging field of animal rights law.

Bob Barker heads his own DJ&T Foundation, the purpose of which is to help control the dog and cat population. He funds the foundation's work through his own resources.

Barker made news two weeks ago by donating $300,000 to rescue Ruby, a foot-sore elephant, from her concrete-floored pen at a Los Angeles, California zoo. Thanks to Barker's donation and the publicity it generated, Ruby now lives at the Performing Animal Welfare Society Elephant Sanctuary in San Andreas, southeast of Sacramento. Meanwhile, the LA Zoo has announced construction of a $39 million, six-acre Asian elephant exhibit called the Pachyderm Forest, where elephants will be able to roam more freely, on natural footing.

The final episode of Barker-bedecked TPIR will be broadcast Friday, June 15. The 83-year-old Barker has won 17 Emmy awards, including 13 as TV host, more than any other performer...and is nominated for more this year.

"I'm going for the Featherlite slant, Bob..."

Photo courtesy of the DJ&T Foundation

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