Sarasota business man nominated for 2013 Nobel Peace Prize - WFLA News Channel 8

Sarasota business man nominated for 2013 Nobel Peace Prize

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Yank Barry Yank Barry
Yank Barry and Mohammed Ali Yank Barry and Mohammed Ali
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Sarasota resident Yank Barry made quite a name for himself back in the 60s as the lead singer of 'The Kingsmen'.  That group is famous for the song, 'Louie, Louie.'  But with the help of his friends, he's fed millions of needy people around the world.  And now boxer Manny Pacquaio has nominated him for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize.

If you step in Yank Barry's office, it's not hard to see that he's led a successful life.  His walls are lined with gold and platinum albums, and pictures of his famous friends like Billy Crystal and Robin Williams.

Barry was a performer, songwriter and now a thriving businessman.  So in the early 90s, he and his friend Muhammad Ali teamed up to spread the wealth.  Barry said, "Mohamed and I had a dream that we could create a day without hunger."  Together they formed the ‘Global Village Champions Foundation.' The two joined a who's who of celebrities like Evander Holyfield and Celine Dion.

As of now, the group has passed out nearly a billion meals to the hungry worldwide. And get this- every single dime comes out of Barry's pocket.

He said, "I might be the driving force but they're the ones that are behind me and without Ali and without a lot of the other champions, we never would've achieved our goals."  He said as the foundation has grown, so has the list of celebrities. And Barry adds having celebrities really helps abroad in getting through government red tape.

"There's so many pieces of red tape that have to be cut, that when you walk in with a Muhammed Ali, there's no red tape! The heads of state become little kids, they just want pictures with Ali!" Barry said with a  chuckle.

One trait we noticed as we spoke with Yank Barry was his humility. He was just nominated for the 2013 Nobel peace prize, but if he wins, he doesn't plan to keep it.  "I have to be very careful not to upset the Nobel committee, Ali has been overlooked. He's the greatest humanitarian in history," said Barry. "Mohammed's done some incredible things in his lifetime and I'm shocked that he's been overlooked by the Nobel committee, and I'm hoping to win ‘cuz I'd love to give it to Ali."

Barry will tell you, his work is far from over.  He said, "I really believe that in the next 10 years we won't have hunger in the world. There's 365 days in a year. We're gonna take care of one day. There's how many Fortune 500 companies, people don't have to add that up too quickly."

They say success is all about who you know, and for Barry that's made all the difference.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced in October.  And Yank Barry is not keeping his sights abroad, starting soon he'll be teaming with celebrities to feed the homeless in America.

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