Parker was born in Mount Holly Township, New Jersey in 1932 and graduated from the Bordentown Military Institute in 1950. He received his A.B. degree from Bucknell University in 1954 and his LL.B. degree from Rutgers University in 1960.
Parker was first elected to the General Assembly in 1965 and was reelected in 1967 and 1969. He was named Speaker of the Assembly in 1971. While serving as Speaker, he was elected to the State Senate. He was reelected in 1973 and 1977 and served as Minority Leader.
Parker did not seek reelection for his Senate seat in 1981, instead running for Governor of New Jersey. In a crowded field for the Republican primary, he garnered 7% of the vote, coming in fifth behind Thomas Kean (31%), Paterson Mayor Lawrence F. Kramer (21%), businessman Joseph A. Sullivan (17%), and State Senator James Wallwork.
|Thomas Kean||Former Assembly Speaker||122,512||31%|
|Pat Kramer||Former Mayor of Paterson||83,565||21%|
|James Wallwork||State Senator||61,816||16%|
|Barry T. Parker||State Senator||26,040||7%|
|Anthony Imperiale||State Assemblyman||18,452||5%|
|Jack Rafferty||Mayor of Hamilton||12,837||3%|
|Richard McGlynn||Former Superior Court Judge||5,486||1%|
- Sardella, Carlo M. "Expert on Pollution; Lays 1976 Algae Mass to Natural Forces", The New York Times, March 27, 1977. Accessed February 28, 2011. "Senator Barry T. Parker, Republican of Mount Holly, who has 'fished off Long Beach Island for 32 years and never saw anything like it before,' says that he still will not accept the theory, scientific or not."
- Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1979.
- "Florio and Kean Agree Taxes Are Key Issue". The New York Times, June 4, 1981. Accessed June 28, 2008.
- "Our Campaigns". Retrieved 2 December 2013.
- Barry T. Parker Archived July 15, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, Parker, McCay. Accessed June 28, 2008.