Who was Dorothy Jo Gideon? Gideon was the wife of the iconic game show host, Bob Barker, who died at 99 on August 26, 2023. Barker was famously known for hosting The Price Is Right for 35 years. His publicist, Roger Neal, reported the sad news via a public statement that read,

“It is with profound sadness that we announce that the World’s Greatest MC who ever lived, Bob Barker, has left us.”

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Here’s everything you need to know about Dorothy and Bob’s relationship.

About Dorothy Jo Gideon

Bob found true love at a young age – he was only 15 when he met Dorothy Jo Gideon. Bob and Dorothy Jo initially encountered each other while they were attending Central High School in Springfield, Missouri. Bob was 15 when the two first met, thus beginning their future together.

In an interview, Bob revealed that for their first date, he asked Dorothy to join him for an Ella Fitzgerald concert to which she agreed.

 “We fell in love as kids. And we stayed in love,” he added.

On January 12, 1945, Barker, who was training to be a navy fighter pilot in the midst of World War II, took a break and the young couple chose to elope in St. Louis and exchange vows. In a 2009 interview with Good Morning America, Barker disclosed that Dorothy was a fierce animal activist.

“She was ahead of her time, she really was. She stopped wearing fur coats before anyone was stopping.”

Bob Barker's wife

Bob also professed his admiration for his wife who inspired him to become a vegetarian. He told a magazine how vegetarianism helped him improve his life.

“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.”

Gideon began her career in the entertainment industry while featuring in 20 episodes of the 1970s game show Tattletales with her husband. This also gave her the opportunity to sing jingles for commercials.

During an interview with Good Morning America, Barker reminisced about the start of his and his wife’s careers in show business, where he worked at 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.'”

Did Bob Barker & Dorothy Jo Gideon Have Kids?

While the couple had a long and happy marriage, they decided against having kids. During an interview with Esquire in 2007, Bob Barker stated that he and Dorothy Jo Gideon never regretted their decision of choosing to not have kids.

“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.”

Bob Barker, Dorothy Jo

Dorothy Jo Gideon passed away at the age of 57 on October 19, 1981. She was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away six months later because of it. Bob experienced a substantial emptiness following his wife’s death. Kent Valandra made mention of how greatly it impacted Bob. Kent revealed that Bob battled with depression after Dorothy’s demise.

“Bob went into this deep depression and was a totally different person for two or three years.”

Barker recalled that he kept himself occupied by throwing himself into his work. In 1995, Barker set up the DJ&T Foundation to commemorate his late wife and mother, Tilly. Although it is no longer operational, the foundation was devoted to helping low-cost spay and neuter clinics to manage animal overpopulation.

Dorothy Jo Gideon and Bob Barker were married for more than 40 years before she passed away. In 1999, Bob told People that he would never marry again, he stated that “Dorothy Jo Gideon was the love of my life.”

“She was with me all the time until she died,” Barker told Esquire. “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.”

Barker has had several relationships since the passing of his beloved wife, Gideon, but he has kept his promise and never remarried. In memory of her, he visited her grave on October 19, 2017, with a bouquet of daisies, which marked 36 years since her death. He has been with animal rights activist Nancy Burnet since 1983.