What Bob Barker Decided To Do With His Fortune After Death

Longtime "The Price is Right" host Bob Barker signed off episodes of his show with a reminder to "have your pets spayed or neutered," and accordingly, much of Barker's fortune went to a number of animal welfare charities when he died. He also left a sizable chunk of money to military nonprofits. In total, the TV personality's publicist, Roger Neal, told ET at least 40 such organizations will benefit from Barker's estate. 

Explaining his interest in military philanthropy, Barker — who died on August 26, 2023, at the age of 99 from Alzheimer's disease — flew planes for the Navy in World War II, and in 2011, Philanthropy News Digest said Barker gave a $2 million donation to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund based in California. At that time, Barker commented, "The men and women we put in harm's way to maintain our freedom deserve the best care and support we can provide when they are injured. We also have an obligation to their families."

Of Barker's generous nature, his publicist told ET, "I think he's one of those people that took that platform that he had — the celebrity that he had — and used it for absolute good to make the world a better place. I think the world is a much better place having had Bob Barker in it."

Barker's history of giving

Chatting with ET after Bob Barker died, the TV star's publicist, Roger Neal, revealed a story about just how far Barker's passion for animal welfare would go. Neal told the outlet he was contacted by an emergency veterinarian after Barker's death was announced, who told him that Barker once brought an injured rat to the hospital where she worked. According to the emergency vet, Barker said, "I want you to do everything you can to save this rat." Neal continued, "It was $2,000 to save this rat's life and he said, 'Do it.' No one knew about that. I didn't even know about that. He did no press around it," Neal said.

On the drive to increase rates of animal spay and neutering, Barker told The Times in 2004, "There are just too many cats and dogs being born. Animals are being euthanized by the millions simply because there are not enough homes for them. In the United States, there is a dog or cat euthanized every 6.5 seconds."

Among many other examples, The New York Times reported in the past, Barker gave $5 million to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and $25 million to the DJ&T Foundation, a spay and neutering support service. According to TMZ, DonkeyLand Rescue, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and the United Activists for Animal Rights were just a few of the animal welfare-based charities where Barker left a large portion of his estate.

Barker also gave land

Bob Barkers' support for animal welfare didn't always take the form of a direct financial contribution. In 2018, he donated 500 acres of land to California's DonkeyLand Rescue, CBS News reported. Over the years, Barker also gave to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). When Barker died, PETA said in a statement, "His generous donation allowed PETA to open its West Coast headquarters, the Bob Barker Building, in 2012, and it stands as a testament to his legacy and profound commitment to making the world a kinder place. To us — and to so many animals around the world — Bob will always be a national animal rights treasure."

Barker was married to his late wife Dorothy Jo Gideon for 35 years until she died in 1981 from lung cancer. Though they never married, he also had a long-term relationship with Nancy Burnet. Barker, pictured with Burnet above, never had children, so he dedicated the bulk of his estate to the cause he always championed in life — improving the lives of animals.