Dec. 12 was the birthday of beloved game-show host Bob Barker, who retired earlier this year after 50 years on television-35 of those spent as the master of ceremonies on The Price Is Right.
For me, Mr. Barker's off-screen achievements helping animals are just as important as what he accomplished while in front of the cameras.
For 10 years, I worked in marketing at CBS. My department worked in conjunction with the production company to supply prizes for The Price Is Right. Contestants might win microwave ovens and pinball machines, but they wouldn't win fur coats. As a longtime animal crusader, Mr. Barker wouldn't allow it. I'm happy to say that new Price Is Right host Drew Carey is keeping the show fur-free.
In addition to his on-air reminders to spay and neuter companion animals, Mr. Barker established the DJ&T Foundation in 1995 (named for his late wife and mother) to fund low-cost spay and neuter clinics. And he has donated millions of his own money to law schools across the country to establish animal law programs.
Daytime TV fans certainly miss Barker's genial manner and gentle humor. But I'm heartened by news reports that Mr. Barker plans to spend his retirement doing even more to promote animal rights. The animals need him.