Bob Barker Hosts Final Show

The end of an era? Legendary host Bob Barker's final show.

ByABC News
May 18, 2007, 5:37 PM

May 18, 2007 — -- When Bob Barker began hosting the game show "The Price Is Right" a movie ticket was $1.50 and a new car was just $3,500.

A lot has changed since then, but not Barker's personality. His gentle manner and G-rated humor have allowed his popularity to pass from generation to generation. His fans watch what their grandmothers watched. Everyone knows what Plinko is.

Watch this story on "Nightline" tonight at 11:35 p.m. EDT.

The games and set pieces are straight out of the '70s.

"The biggest change has been the color of my hair," said Barker. "[The show] has not changed because people don't want us to change 'The Price Is Right.'"

Barker has a degree in economics, and after all this time on the show, you'd think he would know the price of everything -- he would be able to guess the price of a gallon of milk, a Big Mac or a Toyota Prius, right?

"$16,000," Barker guessed for a Prius. Buzzzz. Wrong!

The man who became the unlikeliest of things, a game show host, was raised on a Rosebud Sioux Indian reservation in South Dakota. His father died when he was 6. His mother was a schoolteacher.

"We had what amounted to a one-room schoolhouse," said Barker. "This was before television. Radio was in its infancy. And we played baseball in baseball season, football in football season, ran track in track season and played basketball of course."

The picture of a handsome pilot on a magazine cover inspired him to become a Navy fighter pilot in World War II, although the war ended before he saw combat.

In 1945, he married his high school sweetheart, Dorothy Jo Gideon. He got into radio to earn money for college and ended up hosting talent shows in Los Angeles.

Ralph Edwards heard Barker on one of those talent shows in 1956 and made him his replacement on the TV game show "Truth or Consequences." Barker went to "The Price Is Right" in 1972, and never tired of it.

"You get a job playing second base for the Yankees, you're going to play second base for the Yankees for as long as you can," he said.