Graduated from Penn State University in 1983 and landed my first broadcasting job at the flagship station to SUN Radio Network in St. Petersburg, FL as a producer of talk radio. In 3 months advanced to a network producer, then on air as a national eventually local weather reporter for the Tampa Bay area. Held a position in management as a trainer to new hosts and producers and later Affiliate Relations Manager, eventually in 1990 started hosting, Talkin’ Pets. Left SUN radio several years later and worked with USA Radio Networks for 1 year. Have now been working with Business TalkRadio & Lifestyle TalkRadio Networks for the past 12 years under the title of Affiliate Relations and am still hosting the largest and longest running pet radio and internet show in the country, Talkin’ Pets, for the past 20 years… My one true passion in life is to help to educate the world through interviews with celebrities like Betty White, Tippi Hedren, Bob Barker, Linda Blair and others, authors, foundations and organizations like the ASPCA, LCA, HSUS, AHA, WSPA on the ways to make this world a better place for all animals and mankind in which share this very fragile and mysterious planet called earth. The only home we have so we all need to learn how to share and maintain it so that life for us all continues and evolves forever...
Washington, D.C., January 2, 2014) Bolivia’s Barba Azul Nature Reserve, home to the world’s largest population of the majestic Blue-throated Macaw, has been doubled in size through efforts led by Asociación Armonía, Bolivian partner of American Bird Conservancy (ABC).
Asociación Armonía and several partner groups worked together to purchase an additional 14,820 acres that have expanded Barba Azul Nature Reserve from 12,350 acres to 27,180 acres. The reserve is the only protected savanna in Bolivia’s Beni bioregion that is spared cattle grazing and yearly burning for agricultural purposes.
“Barba Azul” means “Blue Beard” in Spanish and is the local name for the Blue-throated Macaw, which only occurs in Bolivia and is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature). It was also recently listed under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Barba Azul Nature Reserve is the world’s only protected area for the Blue-throated Macaw; the reserve has hosted the largest known concentration of these birds, with close to 100 recorded on the reserve at times.
“Conservation actions of this magnitude for small organizations in poor countries are only possible with outside help. Doubling the size of the Barba Azul Nature Reserve is an excellent example of conservation groups combining their effort to achieve a massive conservation product,” said Bennett Hennessey, Executive Director of Asociación Armonía.
Several organizations and individuals teamed up to achieve this historic conservation result: American Bird Conservancy, Patricia and David Davidson, International Conservation Fund of Canada, IUCN NL / SPN (sponsored by the Netherlands Postcode Lottery), Loro Parque Fundación, Rainforest Trust, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act Grants Program, Robert Wilson Charitable Trust, and World Land Trust.
The reserve extension protects broad grassy plains of the Beni savanna that are seasonally flooded in the rainy season. Also included in the newly protected area are a small river as well as “islands” of tropical forest characterized by tropical hardwoods and palms in this sea of grass. Two large forested islands provide crucial foraging habitat for Blue-throated Macaws, while more than 20 small forested islands provide roosting and potential nesting sites for these birds.
“The small forested islands appear to be great sites to use artificial nest boxes to attract Blue-throated Macaws to breed here,” Hennessey added. Armonía is currently working at the reserve to attract Blue-throated Macaws to artificial nest boxes, with support from ABC, Bird Endowment, Loro Parque Fundación, and the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund.
In addition to the macaw, the Barba Azul Nature Reserve supports roughly 250 species of birds. The tall grasslands provide habitat for the Cock-tailed Tyrant and Black-masked Finch, both listed as Vulnerable by IUCN, as well as healthy populations of the Greater Rhea (Near Threatened) and migratory Bobolink from North America. Extensive wetlands attract flocks of waterbirds, including the Orinoco Goose (Near Threatened), which use nest boxes on the reserve. Armonía staff observed more than 1,000 Buff-breasted Sandpipers on the reserve in 2012, making Barba Azul the most important stop-over site for this species in Bolivia. The reserve extension will protect five additional miles of short-grass river shore habitat used by Buff-breasted Sandpipers during their spring migration.
Barba Azul is also a haven for mammals, thanks to the reserve’s protection of the Omi River, which is the only year-round source of water for miles around and a critical dry-season resource. The extension of Barba Azul improves its ability to protect the 27 species of medium and large mammals that depend on this habitat, including giant anteater (Vulnerable), pampas cat, puma, marsh deer (Vulnerable), pampas deer, white-collared peccary, and capybara. The reserve extension is critically important to maintain large protected areas for species needing expansive territories, like the maned wolf and jaguar.
The Beni savanna is an area twice the size of Portugal. It is a land of extreme contrasts, with intensive flooding in the summer and months of drought in the winter. Almost entirely occupied by private cattle ranches, these savannas have undergone hundreds of years of logging, hunting, and cattle ranching. Overgrazing, annual burning to promote new grass growth for cattle, and the planting of exotic grass species have greatly altered this ecosystem, which is now considered critically endangered.
Frequent burning, overgrazing, and timber harvests within forest patches degrade habitat for Blue-throated Macaws and may limit the number and suitability of nesting sites. At Barba Azul, exclusion of cattle is already resulting in the restoration of forest understories, and artificial nest boxes offer hope that Blue-throated Macaws will have more opportunities to breed.
“When we originally purchased the Barba Azul Nature Reserve, it was a habitat that held high abundance of many animals. But once we removed cattle and stopped hunting, net fishing, logging, and uncontrolled grassland burning, the true destructive impact of an overgrazed, poorly controlled ranch could be seen. Everything is rebounding as if the area is recovering from a drought,” said Hennessey.
The Blue-throated Macaw population has declined due to habitat degradation and trafficking for the pet trade. In addition to establishing the reserve, Armonía has worked with local communities in the Beni region to raise awareness of this species and effectively halt illegal trade in this macaw. Additionally, Armonía has provided local communities with beautiful synthetic feather head-dresses for use in traditional festivals as a conservation-friendly alternative to feathers gathered from wild macaws.
Barba Azul is a great place for birdwatchers, wildlife photographers, and researchers, who come from around the world to study birds and mammals based out of the research center on site. Armonía will be building additional cabins for tourists over the coming year. If you are interested in visiting the reserve, please contact BirdBolivia or find more information at ConservationBirding.org. More information about ABC and Armonía’s efforts to conserve the Blue-throated Macaw and Beni savannas is available on their websites.
American Bird Conservancy (ABC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit membership organization whose mission is to conserve native birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC acts by safeguarding the rarest species, conserving and restoring habitats, and reducing threats, while building capacity in the bird conservation movement. We are proud to be a consistent recipient of Charity Navigator’s four-star rating.
Asociación Armonía is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of birds and their natural habitat in Bolivia. Armonía’s conservation actions are based on scientific studies and active involvement of local communities, respecting their culture and knowledge. Asociación Armonía is the Bolivian key partner of American Bird Conservancy, BirdLife International, Loro Parque Fundación, Rainforest Trust, and World Land Trust.
Rainforest Trust is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to purchase and protect threatened tropical forests and save endangered wildlife through community engagement and local partnerships. For 25 years, Rainforest Trust has saved over 7 million acres of critical habitat across the tropics and consistently receives Charity Navigator’s top four-star rating.
December 26, 2014, LOS ANGELES, CA – World-leading campaign organization Animal Defenders International (ADI) is welcoming a number of successes for animals throughout 2013. The organization’s list of top-ten successes from 2013 shows victories for animals all over the world, from the Amazon rainforest to Nevada.
ADI President, Jan Creamer, “In 2013 we have secured laws to protect animals, spared animals from laboratories and circuses, and opened people’s eyes and hearts to animals exploited for entertainment and research around the world. We now urgently need to rescue animals from desperate conditions in Peruvian circuses, so please join our team to make the world a better place for those animals and many more by becoming a member today.”
1. Colombia bans wild animals in circuses. In June, some six years after ADI launched its damning undercover investigation of the Latin American circus industry, Colombia followed Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay with a ban. The campaign was hard fought, with vigorous opposition from Colombia’s powerful circus industry and marks an important win for animals.
2. Europe bans cosmetics tests on animals. The European Union introduced the final stage of the cosmetics ban, which prohibits the marketing and sale of new animal-tested products from March 11, 2013. ADI and its partner organizations have campaigned for the ban for over 30 years. This vital legislation will put pressure on other countries to follow suit.
3. ADI invited to rescue Peru’s circus animals. After successfully securing a ban on wild animals in circuses in Peru, the Government has asked ADI to return and help rescue the animals from the dismal conditions. ADI is preparing and conducting a census of the country’s circus animals. This will be ADI’s greatest challenge in 2014 and the organization urgently needs public support to rescue the animals.
4. Circus ban in El Salvador. El Salvador has become the latest Latin American country to ban the use of wild animals in circuses, with ADI working with local groups to secure success.
5. “No Fun for Elephants” victories. ADI kicked off 2013 with a new campaign video narrated by Bob Barker, which quickly clocked up victories as five fairs said no to the cruel elephant rides offered by HTWT and Trunks & Humps.
6. Lion Ark lifts off! In October, ADI’s feature length film documenting the rescue of 25 lions from Bolivian circuses hit the film festival circuit, winning awards, critical acclaim, and the hearts of people who have had their eyes opened to the hidden suffering of circus animals. Lion Ark offers an enjoyable, uplifting and accessible look at the issues faced by circus animals. Watch out for Lion Ark in 2014!
7. 1000s of owl monkeys saved from experiments. This month it was formally announced that the capture of owl monkeys in the Amazon would no longer be permitted. ADI undercover investigators exposed the night-time trapping of the terrified monkeys as they were torn from the trees.
8. British circus ban moves forward. The legislation for the long promised ban on wild animals in British circuses was finally tabled. But there was another battle as a committee tried to radically reduce the scope of the new law. ADI fought off the attempt and the full ban on wild animals will be put before Parliament.
9. Baby elephant Lily saved from a life of misery. ADI hit the media nationally across the US, when it learned that notorious trainer Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT) – exposed by an ADI investigation – had a claim on newborn elephant Lily at Oregon Zoo. As a result, the zoo purchased both Lily and her father (owned by HTWT) and tore up the agreement.
10. Plans for beagle farm defeated. Previously defeated plans for a laboratory beagle factory farm in the UK were re-submitted. ADI’s UK partner organization led the campaign to halt the plans, leading to a national outcry and the plans were denied again!
- “Victory: Colombia bans wild animals in circuses” http://www.ad-international.org/publications/go.php?id=3349
- “Cosmetics Testing Ends in Europe: A victory for ethics and science” http://www.ad-international.org/animal_experiments/go.php?id=3073&ssi=83
- “Help ADI get the animals out of Colombia and Peru’s circuses” http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=3193&ssi=10
- “El Salvador votes to ban wild animals in circuses” http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=3260
- “Bob Barker Spearheads New ADI Campaign to End Elephant Suffering at Fairs” http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=3034
- Lion Ark http://www.lionarkthemovie.com
- “Lab monkey hunt STOPPED!” http://www.ad-international.org/publications/go.php?id=2930
- “The campaign to end wild animals in circuses in the UK” http://www.ad-international.org/animals_in_entertainment/go.php?id=2678&ssi=10
- “Oregon Zoo Secures Ownership of Baby Elephant Lily” http://www.ad-international.org/conservation/go.php?id=3035&ssi=0
- “NAVS Welcomes Council Decision To Protect Dogs From Laboratories” http://www.navs.org.uk/media_centre/35/0/3389/
Animal Defenders International
With offices in London, Los Angeles and Bogota, ADI campaigns across the globe on animals in entertainment, providing technical advice to governments, securing progressive animal protection legislation, drafting regulations and rescuing animals in distress. ADI has a worldwide reputation for providing video and photographic evidence exposing the behind-the-scenes suffering in industry and supporting this evidence with scientific research on captive wildlife and transport. ADI rescues animals all over the world, educates the public on animals and environmental issues. www.ad-international.org
The Weinstein Company, Videovision Entertainment, Distant Horizon, Pathe and in association with Origin Pictures present a PG-13, 139 minute, biography, history, drama, directed by Justin Chadwick, screenplay by William Nicholson and autobiography by Nelson Mandela with a theater release date of December 25, 2013.
The Weinstein Company and Jean Doumanian Productions present a 121 minute, R rated, drama, comedy, directed by John Wells and screenplay by Tracy Letts with a theater release date of December 25, 2013.
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Red Hour Films, TSG Entertainment, Samuel Goldwyn Films and New Line Cinema present a 114 minute, PG, adventure, comedy, drama, directed by Ben Stiller, screenplay by Steve Conrad and based on the short story by James Thurber with a theater release date of December 25, 2013.
Red Granite Pictures, Sikelia Productions, Appian Way and EMJAG Productions present an R-rated, 180 minute biography comedy drama directed by Martin Scorsese and adapted by Terence Winter from the book by Jordan Belfort with a release date of December 25.
Walt Disney Pictures, Ruby Films and Essential Media & Entertainment present a PG-13, 125 minute, biography, comedy, drama, directed by John Lee Hancock, written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith with a theater release date of December 20, 2013.
SF Zoo gorilla meets the public on Saturday—and finally gets her name
DECEMBER 18, 2013, SAN FRANCISCO, CA – The San Francisco Zoo is thrilled to announce Saturday, December 21 at 10:00am as the first public viewing of our 5-month old female gorilla at the Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Over the last month, the care of the infant has slowly and carefully been transitioned from Zoo animal staff to the infant’s western lowland gorilla family. These important introductions began with the matriarch of the six-member troop, 33-year old Bawang, who eagerly served as surrogate mother to five-year old male Hasani under similar circumstances. As predicted, Bawang instantly assumed the role of adoptive mother of the infant and they have been together ever since. Under Bawang’s careful supervision, each gorilla has made the little one’s acquaintance and each one has expressed their curiosity and affection in their own way. Big brother, Hasani, is particularly excited to have received a baby sister for his fifth birthday, which was on December 8. He is often seen playfully engaging with the infant under the watchful eye of the troop’s females. “Once again, Bawang has taken on the huge responsibility of motherhood and has set a positive tone for the troop” said San Francisco Zoo President Tanya Peterson. “We feel very blessed to be able to contribute to the population of this critically endangered species and we feel especially grateful to introduce the entire gorilla family to the public during this holiday season.”
For the benefit of gorilla care and feeding, the public has given $1 per vote toward their favorite of three finalist names (Malaika, which means "heavenly messenger" in Swahili; Kenura, which means "joy" in Kikuyu; Kabibe, which means "little lady" in Swahili). To celebrate the momentous occasion and to properly introduce the little one to the San Francisco Zoo community, the name of the infant gorilla will be announced during the Media Preview on Friday, December 20, at 8:30am.
About the birth
At birth on July 17, 2013, the female infant was 5-pounds, 1-ounce and healthy. Her parents are Nneka (Ni-NEE-ka) and Oscar Jonesy. The infant was born on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. and is the first birth for mother Nneka and the second sired by silverback Oscar Jonesy. The previous gorilla birth at the SF Zoo was in 2008 when Hasani, the now five-year old male, was born to Monifa and Oscar Jonesy.
About western lowland gorillas
The western lowland gorilla (scientific name: Gorilla gorilla gorilla) is a critically endangered species. Found in Africa with populations in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of Congo, the actual number of gorillas in the wild is unknown due to their habitation in some of the world’s densest and most remote rainforest regions. These gorillas can weigh up to 440 pounds and stand four to five feet when upright on two feet. According to the World Wildlife Fund, poaching, habitat destruction, and diseases such as the Ebola virus have contributed to the decline of the species by 60 percent over the past 25 years. The WWF estimates that if threats to western lowland gorillas were removed, it would take at least 75 years for the species to recover. A wild gorilla’s average lifespan is approximately 35 years and a gorilla in captivity is estimated to live for 40-50 years. There are currently 342 western lowland gorillas at 53 AZA-accredited zoos in North America.
Western lowland gorillas are the smallest of the four gorilla subspecies with a brownish-grey coat with red highlights. Adult males have silver-colored fur on their back and legs, which is the origin of the name silverback. They are herbivores and enjoy plant-based diets that include fruit, vegetables, leaf-based browse, bark, grain, and tubers. They live in family groups called troops of four to six members that are led by a dominant older male and consist of multiple females, juveniles, and young males. Females begin reproduction at age nine or 10 and do not produce many offspring. Female gorillas have a pregnancy term of nearly nine months and usually give birth to one infant. The infant will be held by its mother or ride on her back for approximately one year.
About the San Francisco Zoo
The mission of the San Francisco Zoo is to connect visitors with wildlife, inspire caring for nature, and advance conservation action. Nestled against the Pacific Ocean, the SF Zoo is an urban oasis. It is home to over 1,000 exotic, endangered, and rescued animals representing more than 250 species and lovely peaceful gardens full of native and foreign plants. The majestic Roberts African Savanna offers a multi-species landscape with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches, and more. At Hearst Grizzly Gulch, visitors can get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly sisters Kachina and Kiona. Lemurs leap through the Lipman Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Penguin Island is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. The Zoo’s troop of gorillas lives in the lush Jones Family Gorilla Preserve. Farm animals for feeding and petting can be found in the popular Fisher Family Children’s Zoo. The historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and the 1904 miniature Little Puffer steam train are treasured by generations of visitors and the newly renovated $3.2 million Elinor Friend Playground re-opened in fall 2013 to rave reviews. The SF Zoo offers a rich history for its guests, including fun rides, educational programs, and exciting events for children of all ages. The SF Zoo is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
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Bob Barker retired from CBS' THE PRICE IS RIGHT in June, 2007, after 35 years as the show’s host. The series has been one of the highest rated daytime shows during this entire period. It is also the longest running game show in television history, surpassing "What's My Line?" which ran for 18 seasons. In 2007, Time Magazine named Barker the greatest game show host of all time, claiming that he "never lost his utterly natural charm or self-effacing people skills". Separately, TV Guide named THE PRICE IS RIGHT the “greatest game show of all time.” Barker also served as the show's executive producer. His retirement from the game show marked his 52nd. anniversary of his debut on national television.
Since his retirement, Barker has been busy on a number of animal rights-related issues. He was instrumental in having a Spay-Neuter ordinance adopted by the City of Los Angeles and lobbied Chicago and the State of California to adopt similar laws, and is encouraging New York City to do likewise. He also supported the adoption of such ordinances by the cities of Dallas and San Antonio. He has written an autobiographical book titled “Priceless Memories” that landed on the New York Times bestseller list within the first two weeks of its distribution.
He is involved in ongoing efforts to rescue elephants from zoos in Los Angeles and Canada. A two-year campaign to move three elephants from the Toronto Zoo resulted in having them transferred to the PAWS animal sanctuary in San Andreas, California, in October, 2013, when he agreed to underwrite the $1 million transportation costs..
He went to North Carolina to attempt the rescue of bears from local side shows. He has established endowments for the study of animal law at eight of the nation's top law schools, including Harvard. All of this with a view to making young lawyers and future politicians more knowledgeable in animal law.
He donated $5,000,000 the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to underwrite its cost of anti-whaling internationally. With Barker’s contribution, Sea Shepherd purchased a new ship which it named the Bob Barker that joins the society’s MV Steve Irwin in its direct actions campaigns to defend ocean wildlife worldwide.
He has provided financial support for a number of other projects he’s undertaken since his retirement, including $3 million to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund towards construction of a $60 million treatment center for traumatic brain injuries suffered by military personnel. The center will be located in Bethesda, Maryland, adjacent to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. As a former Navy fighter pilot, he is especially concerned with the care of injured veterans; $1 million to his alma mater, Drury University, to establish the Dorothy Jo Barker Professorship on animal rights that will lead to a full undergraduate degree program. He gave the school another $1 million to establish the Drury University Forum on Animal Rights, which includes an undergraduate course on animal ethics. These are the first such programs at an undergraduate school and they are reverberating throughout the educational system.
Barker has won a total of 19 Emmy awards -- 14 as TV host, more than any other performer, four as Executive Producer of “The Price Is Right” and the Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award for Daytime Television in 1999. He was installed into the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame in 2004. He has also received the coveted Carbon Mike Award of the Pioneer Broadcasters and was named the most popular game show host of all time in a national poll. Although he has graced our television screens for over four decades, his career continues at full throttle. "But," he hastens to add, "I was very young when I started."
On April 26, 2002, Bob broke Johnny Carson’s record for continuous performances on the same network television show. Johnny retired from THE TONIGHT SHOW after 29 years, seven months and 21 days (10/1/62 – 5/22/92).
In September, 2007, he was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians. A bronze likeness of him was placed in the Missouri State Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City along side those of past honorees: Walt Disney, George Washington Carver, Harry Truman, Ginger Rodgers, Josephine Baker, former US Attorney General John Ashcroft and famed St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck.
He made his motion picture debut in Universal Pictures’ “Happy Gilmore” in which he appeared as himself with Adam Sandler. His real acting debut, however, came when he was asked to play Mel Harris’ father in NBC’s “Something So Right.” “It took 46 years from the time I first came to Hollywood for me to land a movie role,” he said. “I hope I won’t have to wait that long for the next offer.”
Another honor came when one of the most historic sites in the history of television, Stage 33 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles, was re-dedicated as the Bob Barker Studio in ceremonies following the taping of the 5,000th episode of THE PRICE IS RIGHT in March of 1998. Barker is the first performer to whom CBS has ever dedicated a stage.
Stage 33, opened in November 1952, has been the home of such legendary television series as "The Jack Benny Show" "The Red Skelton Show" and "The Carol Burnett Show," as well as some of the network's most memorable entertainment specials starring such performers as Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. "The Gary Moore Show," based in New York, used it during its annual trip to the West Coast, and "The Ed Sullivan Show," used it for all of its West Coast inserts. It was from Stage 33, in fact, that Elvis Presley made his historic first appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."
Barker was born in Darrington, WA, and spent most of his youth on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota where his mother was a schoolteacher. His family eventually moved to Springfield, MO, where he attended high school and Drury College, now Drury University, on a basketball scholarship. When World War II intervened, he became a Navy fighter pilot, but the war ended before he was assigned to a seagoing squadron.
Following his discharge, Barker returned to Drury and took a job at a local radio station to help finance his studies. It was there that he discovered that what he did best was to host audience participation shows. After graduating summa cum laude with a degree in economics, he went to work for a radio station in Palm Beach, FL. A year later he moved to Los Angeles, and within a month, he was the host of his own radio program, "The Bob Barker Show."
Barker made his debut on national television as the host of the popular TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES. Ralph Edwards, the show's originator, had sold the show to NBC as a daytime strip, but he had not chosen a host. He auditioned emcees in Hollywood and New York for weeks, but when he heard "The Bob Barker Show" on his car radio he knew he had found the man for the job.
When asked what it was about Barker that had impressed him, Edwards replied, "Bob sounds like Jack Benny doing audience participation." Proving that Edwards had chosen wisely, Barker hosted TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES for an unbelievable 18 years.
“The Price Is Right” was named The Greatest Game Show of All Time by TV Guide. Barker has been twice named in the Guinness Book of World Records as
television's "Most Durable Performer," 3,524 consecutive performances on TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, and "Most Generous Host in Television History" for awarding $55 million in prizes on his various shows. During the ensuing years, the $55 million figure has increased to more than $200 million.
He narrated the CBS telecast of the Rose Parade for 21 years, a record for the network. In 1978, he developed "The Bob Barker Fun & Games Show," a series of personal appearances which immediately attracted record-breaking audiences throughout the United States and Canada.
Named one of America's "Ten Best Dressed Men" by the Custom Tailors' Guild of America, Barker is a man of many interests, including karate. His first instructor was film star Chuck Norris, who says that Barker was one of his most dedicated students. Barker has traveled the world over, enjoys reading and is a Civil War buff, but claims, "I excel at lying in the sun doing absolutely nothing."
Barker is one of the most visible figures in the animal rights movement and one of its most eloquent speakers beginning with the "Fur Flap" surrounding the 1987 Miss USA Pageant which attracted more media attention than any single event in animal rights history. If the swimsuit contestants wore real furs, as planned by the pageant producers, Barker said that it would be impossible for him to participate in the telecast. He prevailed, and synthetic furs were substituted for the real thing.
In 1988, Barker was again the subject of media attention coast to coast when, after hosting the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants for 21 years, he resigned because the producers refused to remove fur coats from the prize packages. As an interesting
sidelight, the first telecast of the Miss USA Pageant without Barker as host resulted in a decline in rating of 29%, an incredible loss for a special that airs from one year to the next. Barker also resigned as host of "The Patsy Awards" when he learned that trainers frequently use cruel methods to force animals to perform in movies.
A man of conviction who fights animal exploitation in all of its grisly forms, he has refused offers to do commercials for sponsors because of the animal cruelty involved in the development and manufacture of their products. He turned down a lucrative offer to use his name and likeness in print advertising by one of the nation's best known hospitals because the institution was conducting animal experiments. He also spearheaded the investigation of the movie PROJECT X that led to a request by the Los Angeles Department of Animal Regulation that criminal charges be filed for animal cruelty during the production of the picture.
Barker established the DJ&T Foundation in 1995 to fund low cost spay/neuter clinics and organizations subsidizing spay/neuter voucher programs across the country in an effort to help control animal over population. According to Barker, over population is one of our most tragic animal problems. The foundation is named in memory of his wife Dorothy Jo and his mother Matilda (Tilly) Valandra, both of whom loved all animals.
In June of 2001, the Harvard Law School established the Bob Barker Endowment for the Study of Animal Rights Law to support teaching and research in this emerging field. He has since established similar endowments at Stanford, Columbia, UCLA, Georgetown, Duke, University of Virginia and Northwestern University law schools, as well as at Drury University, the first such course to be offered at the undergraduate level.
The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics in Oxford, England, selected Bob as its sixth Honorary Fellow. “This award acknowledges Mr. Barker’s ground-breaking contribution to the establishment of animal studies within academia” said Professor Andrew Linzey, Director of the Centre. “His pioneering work in putting animals on the intellectual agenda will be of lasting historical importance to the cause.”
“We cannot change the world for animals without also changing people’s ideas about animals. Almost single-handedly Bob’s sagacity and generosity have - in little more than a decade - propelled animals from being a marginal issue into the academic mainstream. This is a colossal achievement”, said Professor Linzey.
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