On the 36th anniversary of his wife Dorothy Jo Gideon's death, Barker paid a loving tribute to his late spouse that proves just how strong their connection was. The couple met at an Ella Fitzgerald concert when they were both in high school in Missouri. Barker was just 15 when they started dating, but he had already found the love of his life.
The couple eloped in 1945, when Barker was on leave from the Navy during his time as a fighter pilot. Like Barker, Gideon worked in the entertainment industry, singing commercial jingles. She was also an early animal rights activist, who had a very strong influence on her husband.
"She was ahead of her time. She really was. She stopped wearing fur coats before anyone was stopping," Barker told Good Morning America in 2007. "She became a vegetarian before people were becoming vegetarian. And I gradually did the same thing with her."
Sadly, after 36 years of marriage Dorothy Jo passed away from lung cancer in 1981, at age 67. Ever since Barker has insisted that he has no plans on remarrying. "She was my wife," he said simply.
And the host's touching tribute to his wife on the 36th anniversary of her death proves just how strong his love is after more than three decades apart...