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Bob Barker's Wife Prepared Him for Life Alone — He Never Remarried after She Died 40 Years Ago

Gracious Egedegbe
Apr 11, 2022
05:00 A.M.
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Bob Barker had a special relationship with the woman he married, and after she passed on, the man chose not to take another wife — even now, he still visits her grave with flowers. 

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The first time Bob Barker met his soulmate, he had been a teen of 15, and even though decades have passed since that fateful day, the besotted man still remembers it like it happened yesterday. 

Bob and Dorothy Jo met each other at Central High School, Springfield, Missouri. The pair were introduced by Jim Lowe, a mutual friend of theirs who happened to live a few blocks away from Dorothy then.

[Left] Picture of American game show host Bob Barker; [Right] Picture of Bob Barker, with his wife Dorothy Jo Barker | Source: Getty Images

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They were good friends who grew up together, so it wasn't a stretch when Lowe suggested that Bob take her on a double date with him and his own partner. 

At the time, Bob hadn't met her yet, but he knew she was pretty and popular, which made him think she would not consider going out with him. 

Bob Barker attends An Evening With Bob Barker presented by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at The Leonard Goldenson Theater May 7, 2007 | Source: Getty Images

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He was wrong, and Lowe told him as much. When he worked up the nerve to ask her, she agreed to go, and his pride swelled at being seen with her. 

As time passed, the two continued hanging out, and just like that, Dorothy, who had been born on February 24, 1924, to Jack and Dorothy Gideon, who lived in Missouri, found the man of her dreams. 

THE WEDDING WAS IN THE MAKING FROM THE VERY BEGINNING 

Picture of Bob Barker, with his wife Dorothy Jo Barker | Source: Getty Images

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Bob's first date with Dorothy saw them watch the talented Ella Fitzgerald sing "A-tisket, A-tasket," and in that same meeting, he decided she would one day be his bride. 

Forty years down the line, the entertainer still visits his wife's grave with large bouquets of flowers. After the date, they wrote and called each other regularly, making plans of what they would do in the future, with themselves and their lives. 

As they fell deeper in love with one another, Bob and his lady knew that they wanted to get married, but they made no concrete plans towards achieving that until one spring when they suddenly decided to get a license. 

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Bob Barker and his wife Dorothy Jo show off part of their extensive collection of military-themed ceramic figurine on November 4, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

They avoided doing so in Springfield because Dorothy's father was the Greene county assessor; he had offices in the courthouse where they would have had to go. They wanted it to be a surprise, so the couple made a trip to Ozark, Missouri. 

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Despite all they tried, Dorothy's father, who also happened to have friends within the Ozark courthouse, had gotten tipped off that his daughter had picked up a license. 

When the big reveal came, he was reportedly happy but not surprised. He and Dorothy's mom also endorsed the marriage, even going as far as offering to help them organize a great wedding or giving them the cash to do it themselves. 

Bob Barker and his wife Dorothy Jo pose on the stairs of their house, on November 4, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

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The couple had not put a lot of thought into planning the marriage, but all they knew was that it would happen. Still, they opted for the cash. "We want the money," they said

The wedding eventually took place on January 12, 1945, but it was not a loud affair, and it went down at the home of a minister in St. Louis. A friend of Bob's by the name of Howard Hessick stood as a witness. 

Bob said about the quiet affair: "Dorothy Jo wore a red dress. I still have it. She looked great, and both of us were ecstatically happy."

Bob Barker and his wife Dorothy Jo play with three dogs in their back yard, on November 4, 1977 | Source: Getty Images

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The marriage, low-key as it was, was, in truth, a testimony to their love because Dorothy made some sacrifices by choosing to marry him at that particular point in time. 

According to Bob, she had graduated in flying colors as a valedictorian in her class, and she had also gotten admission into the prestigious George Washington Medical school. Still, she had thrown it all away to tie the knot with him. 

BOB BARKER'S WIFE WAS HIS COLLEAGUE AND INSPIRATION 

Picture of Bob Barker, with his wife Dorothy Jo Barker | Source: Getty Images

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Dorothy got older and also followed her husband's career footsteps as an entertainer, but while he worked on game shows like "Truth or Consequence," she was busy with commercials where she was known for her singing. 

Besides that, she has also appeared in TV series like "It's Your Bet" and "Tattletales." The woman did not get much acclaim for her works, but Bob usually credited her as the source of his inspiration. 

Picture of Bob Barker, with his wife Dorothy Jo Barker | Source: Getty Images

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This was because he believed "she was ahead of her time." According to him, she stopped wearing fur coats before anyone else did and became a vegetarian before people started catching on. He said:

"She used to say I was a lucky man. She was right. And the best luck of all was having her by my side for so many years."

Picture of Bob Barker, with his wife Dorothy Jo Barker | Source: Getty Images

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Dorothy also taught him a lot about dealing with memories; the game show host once revealed that she had a gold charm bracelet that held mementos of their past together and that she wore it when they went on trips. 

When it grew too heavy for her, she stopped wearing it so often, but even after she passed away, Bob refused to part with it and still has it even today. 

DOROTHY JO PREPARED BOB BARKER TO FEEL OKAY AFTER HER PASSING 

Picture of Bob Barker, with his wife Dorothy Jo Barker | Source: Getty Images

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Their love story was a perfect one, and their paradise kept thriving for years until one day, they received a terrible diagnosis — Dorothy had developed inoperable lung cancer. 

They talked about it frequently as a couple, and at some point, she told him not to get scared of being alone because he would find great comfort in it, and just as she said, it was so. After Dorothy passed on, Bob revealed that he had no intention of taking another wife. He said:

"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."

Bob Barker during "The Price is Right" 34th Season Premiere circa June 2005 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images

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He also stated that she was the light of his life and credited her for any success he had before revealing that she was the greatest blessing in his life. 

And on the subject of why they never had kids, Bob says he doesn't feel terrible about it because they had simply never found time for it — they had themselves, and that was sufficient. 

HE STILL HONORS HER

Bob Barker attends a news conference to launch a congressional initiative on the use of animals in the entertainment industry on November 2, 2011 on Capitol Hill In Washington D.C. | Source: Getty Images

Dorothy passed away in the 80s, but Bob has never forgotten who she was to him. Forty years down the line, the entertainer still visits his wife's grave with large bouquets of flowers. 

In 2017, it was daisies he held as he grieved her passing at her burial site in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles. RIP Dorothy Jo! 

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