Bob Barker Donates $1 Million to Northwestern School of Law

In March, Bob Barker announced he was donating $1 million to Northwestern University’s School of Law to endow a course devoted to animal rights law.

In the past, I have been accused by individuals from universities that Barker has donated money for implying that what Barker is buying is nothing more than indoctrination of their students in animal rights ideologies. I don’t believe that, and don’t think what I’ve written sustains such a view, but Bob Barker explicitly does believe that this is what he’s accomplishing with his donations. Barker explained to Chicago’s WABC,

Animals need all the protection we can give them. We intend to train a growing number of law students in this area of law in the hope that they will ultimately lead a national effort to make it illegal to brutalize and exploit these helpless creatures.”

And by brutalize and exploit, Barker means things like animal research. Barker had to do a bit of defending of his donation to Northwestern in light of ongoing federal investigations into alleged mistreatment of research animals at the university. Barker said he was unaware of the allegations or the specifics, but told the Chicago Sun Times that in general,

I’m well aware of the cruelties and the mistreatment of animals in animal research. But many good things will come of this [donation].

Over the past few years, Barker has donated $6 million to establish or enhance animal rights law curriculum at law schools at Northwestern, Yale, Columbia, Duke, Stanford, and the University of California Los Angeles.


Bob Barker donates money to university. WABC, March 22, 2005.

Barker has to bite his lip before giving NU $1 million. Chicago Sun-Times, March 23, 2005.

Bob Barker Gives More Money to Establish Animal Rights Law Programs

Bob Barker was busy in December endowing yet more animal rights law programs at major universities.

Barker gave $1 million each to both the Duke University School of Law and Columbia Law School to create animal rights law programs.

At Duke Law School, according to a press release,

The Barker fund will support teaching at Duke Law School in the growing field of animal rights law, including opportunities for students to work for course credit on cases involving compliance with state animal cruelty laws and other forms of animal rights advocacy. North Carolina is the only state that allows individuals and citizens’ organizations to seek injunctions against violators of the state’s animal cruelty laws.

At Columbia, according to the law school,

Mr. Barker’s gift will support current initiatives into animal rights law, as well as open up possibilities in which the Law School will draw on its wealth of resources and contacts to develop future endeavors.

During the 2005-06 academic year, for example, the gift will be used to enlist the services of David Wolfson ’93, a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, to teach a class on animal rights. Mr. Wolfson represents, on a pro bono basis, groups such as the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Legal Defense Fund. He also has published on animal rights law and has taught classes on the subject at several law schools.

There was also speculation that Barker may donate a similar amount to the University of Michigan Law School.


Bob Barker awards Columbia Law School $1 million to support the study of animal rights. Press Release, Columbia Law School, December 2004.

TV Personality Bob Barker Donates to Duke Law School for Animal Rights Law Study. Press Release, Duke Law School, December 6, 2004.

Animal rights law program may expand. Laura Van Hyfte, The Michigan Daily, January 10, 2005.

The Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights Law

Pearson Television, which owns “The Price Is Right,” recently donated $500,000 to the Harvard Law School to establish the Bob Barker Endowment Fund for the Study of Animal Rights Law.

According to a Harvard Law School press release,

The Fund will support teaching and research at the Law School in the emerging field of animal rights law. The income generated by the gift will fund periodic courses and seminars at the Law School on animal rights taught by visiting scholars with a wide range of views and perspectives. In addition to classroom instruction, the gift will assist visiting and permanent faculty members in conducting research in this growing area.

Barker and Pearson Television executive Syd Vinnedge presented the gift to Harvard Law School Dean Robert C. Clark at a special ceremony at the law school.

“This fund will allow our faculty and students to explore in depth an emerging field of law that has ramifications in many traditional legal areas. We are grateful to Pearson Television for this gift — our students will benefit greatly from their generosity and from Bob Barker’s sensitivity to the issue of animal rights.”


Harvard Law School Receives Gift from Pearson Television to Fund The Bob Barker Endowment for the Study of Animal Rights Law. Harvard Law School, press release, June 14, 2001.