The Norman Transcript

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October 31, 2011

Voice of the Sooners dies at 80

NORMAN — Legendary Sooner radio voice Bob Barry Sr., one of Norman and Oklahoma’s most well known broadcasting personalities, was found dead Sunday morning.

Barry’s Norman neighbors became concerned that he had not picked up his Sunday newspaper. He was found dead inside his home.

Services will be 2 p.m. Thursday at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norman, under the direction of Primrose Funeral Service of Norman.

Barry, 80, retired from his OU broadcasting duties in spring 2011 and was active in the Norman community where he lived for more than 50 years. He had only recently rejoined the Norman Rotary Club and was scheduled to lead Norman’s Christmas Holiday Parade on Dec. 10.

“Bob Barry represented the best of the Sooner spirit,” OU President David L. Boren said Sunday. “With his contagious enthusiasm, he was one of the best sports broadcast journalists in the entire nation. He was loved by Oklahomans all across our entire state and will be missed by all of us.”

Barry, an Oklahoma City native, began his career in broadcasting in 1956 at Norman radio station KNOR as a salesman, disc jockey and sportscaster calling Norman High games.

When he was 7, in June 1938, he had fallen from an upstairs window and his injuries forced him to stay in bed for eight weeks. He had a radio to keep him company and he listened to dozens of baseball games. That led him to seek out a career in broadcasting, Barry was quoted as saying in the recently released book “Voice of Bedlam: The Life of Bob Barry.”

In 1961, OU football coach Bud Wilkinson selected Barry to call football and basketball games. Barry stopped calling games for OU when the radio rights changed in 1972. He called games for a season at Tulsa University and then for a several years at Oklahoma State University. He was also a sports anchor and sports director at KFOR until 1997.

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