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Meet Dorothy Jo Gideon: All About Bob Barker’s Wife as He Passes Away at 99

By now, we are guessing all of you know that, Bob Barker, who served as the host of the US game show The Price Is Right for 35 years has died. He passed away at the age of 99 on August 26, 2023, Saturday.

The iconic game show host’s death was announced by his longtime publicist Roger Neal via a statement. It has been reported by various media outlets, that Bob died of natural causes. Read on to dive deep into the personal life of Bob Barker.

Who was Bob Barker’s wife, Dorothy Jo Gideon?

Bob managed to find the love of his life at a young age. He was only 15 years old when he first met Dorothy Jo Gideon. At that point, they were in high school. The two of them tied the knot in the year 1945. They exchanged their vows on January 12, 1945.

Barker and Dorothy Jo were happily married for 35 years until her demise in 1981. During a 1999 interview with People magazine, The Price Is Right host said, “I’ll never marry again. Dorothy Jo was the love of my life.”

While having a conversation with Esquire in 2007, the American television presenter spilled the beans on his marriage to his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon. Then, he told the media outlet, “I was married at 21; Dorothy Jo was 20.”

From there on, Bob and Gideon were inseparable. The two lovebirds even joined hands for commercial jingles. He went on to say “She was with me all the time until she died. For some men, maybe a second or third marriage would work out fine. In my case, I had my marriage and she was the love of my life.”

How did Bob Barker and Dorothy Jo Gideon meet?

For those of you who are unaware, let us share with you, that Bob and Dorothy Jo crossed paths for the first time when they were teenagers who studied at Central High School in Springfield, Missouri. Barker was only 15 years old when he met his future wife.

In 1999, the Emmy-winning host told People magazine, “We fell in love as kids. And we stayed in love.” Their first date was very special as he asked her to join him for an Ella Fitzgerald concert and she said, ‘Yes.’

Bob Barker and Dorothy Jo Gideon eloped in 1945

Yeah, you read that right. The young pair managed to elope in St. Louis. Then, Bob who was training as a navy fighter pilot during World War II, was on leave. They walked down the aisle in January 1945.

Dorothy Jo Gideon was an animal advocate

In many of his past interviews, Bob stated that his late wife Dorothy Jo inspired him to be a champion for animal activism. During a 2009 media interaction with Good Morning America, he gushed over his spouse and said, “She was ahead of her time. She really was. She stopped wearing fur coats before anyone was stopping.”

The Happy Gilmore star mentioned that his ladylove helped him to become a vegetarian. In 2012, he told Vegetarian Times, “My wife, Dorothy Jo, preceded me in becoming a vegetarian.”

He further added, “She fixed beautiful dishes that I ate. Gradually, I became a vegetarian too. I owe it to her, and I thank her for it, because I think it has really improved my life. I am a staunch believer in it.”

Dorothy Jo Gideon sang commercial jingles

Back in the day, Gideon was seen in around 20 episodes of the 1970s game show Tattletales along with her famous husband. Then, she got a chance to sing commercial jingles.

While having a chat with Good Morning America, Bob shed some light on the pair’s early beginnings in the world of entertainment. He said, “I had been working in a radio station. And I finally got the opportunity to do an audience participation show. … Dorothy Jo heard it. When I got home she said, ‘That’s what you should do.’ ”

In 1999, People magazine reported that Gideon became Barker’s sidekick. Throughout her life, she lent her vocals to a couple of radio show commercial jingles in Los Angeles.

Did Bob Barker and Dorothy Jo Gideon have any kids?

The answer to the above question is no. During their decades-long relationship, the pair did not have children. In a 2007 interview with Esquire, Bob talked about the couple’s decision to not have kids.

The Truth or Consequences host said, “We didn’t have time for children. I don’t regret it, not when so many of my friends are having so much trouble with their children. I have 13 ducks, and that’s a lot of work.”

What was the cause behind the death of Dorothy Jo Gideon?

Dorothy Jo Gideon left for the heavenly abode in the year 1981. She passed away at the age of 57 on October 19, 1981. The cause behind her demise was lung cancer. She died 6 months after her diagnosis.

Her death left a big void in Bob’s life. His half-brother Kent Valandra stated how his wife’s demise affected him deeply. He said, “Bob went into this deep depression and was a totally different person for two or three years.” Barker spoke about that difficult period and told People magazine, “I immersed myself in [work]. I just tried to stay busy.”

After the passing of his spouse Dorothy, Barker established a foundation in her honor. He founded the DJ&T Foundation in 1995. The foundation that focused on helping low-cost spay and neuter clinics control animal overpopulation closed down later.

Soon after, Bob Barker began dating Nancy Burnet

Two years after Dorothy’s demise, Bob Barker moved on in his life with Nancy Burnet. He started dating Nancy in 1983 and the two of them stayed together until his death on August 26, 2023.

Post Bob’s demise, Nancy put out a statement that read, “I am so proud of the trailblazing work Barker and I did together to expose the cruelty to animals in the entertainment industry and including working to improve the plight of abused and exploited animals in the United States and internationally, we were great friends over these 40 years. He will be missed.”

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Meenal Mehta
Hi, I am Meenal. I'm a travel enthusiast, a movie buff and a cricket fan all wrapped in one. I love to capture moments through my words. Writing is my happy space, it has been a great way of putting all my thoughts out and feel liberated.


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