Robert William Barker was born December 12, 1923 in Darrington, Washington. While attending Drury College, Barker was shipped out during World War II where he served as a Navy fighter pilot. Upon returning to the states after the war, Barker finished college with a degree in economics. He also landed his first entertainment job: a radio host for KTTS-FM radio in Springfield, Missouri.
With radio experience under his belt, Barker worked for a radio station in Florida and later in California. While hosting a program on the radio in California, producer Ralph Edwards heard Barker's voice and hired him as the new host for the game show Truth or Consequences
. His role as host made Barker a television star and household name and continued to host the show for 18 years until 1972. During this time, Barker also hosted The Family Game
, a short-lived game show similar to The Newlywed Game
Barker took over as host for The Price Is Right
, the role he is most well-known for, on September 4, 1972. With Barker as host, The Price Is Right
became the longest-running American game show of all time and earned 17 Emmy awards during his 35 years of hosting. Barker was induced into Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in 2004 and upon his 5000th episode of The Price Is Right
, CBS renamed the stage where the show is taped after Barker. Barker has also earned a Lifetime Achievement Award for Daytime Television in 1999.
On October 31, 2006, Barker announced that he would retire from The Price Is Right
in June, 2007. With over 50 years of weekday TV show appearances, Barker holds the record of longest TV career, as well as the record for oldest TV show host (Barker was 83 during his final year on TPIR
In addition to his television hosting career, Barker has appeared in several television shows as himself (the most recent being on the "Showdown
" episode of How I Met Your Mother
) and also appeared as himself in Happy Gilmore
Currently, Barker resides in Los Angeles.