The man known as “Mr. Wizard” to many young fans died on Tuesday at the age of 89. Don Herbert was credited for playing the TV scientist from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. He succumbed to bone cancer at his suburban Bell Canyon home in Los Angeles.

Herbert was born in Waconia, Minnesota. In 1940, he graduated at the LaCrosse State Teachers College and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II as a pilot. He worked as an actor, model, and radio writer before starting the show “Watch Mr. Wizard” in Chicago on NBC. The show lasted from 1951 to 1964 and received a Peabody Award in 1954. On his show, he taught children how to use household items to create science experiments, encouraging his young viewers to try them at home, getting them to think about the project while watching the show.

In the 80’s, he starred in “Mr. Wizard’s World” that aired on Nickelodeon. Steve Jacobs was his behind-the-scenes assistant. In 1982, he was one of the first guests on

“Late Night with David Letterman.” He is survived by six children and stepchildren by his second wife and a son-in-law. A private funeral service is planned. On his website, his family left the following message:

It is with deep sadness that we regret to announce the passing of Don Herbert – the one and only “Mr. Wizard”. Don lost his battle with cancer today, June 12, 2007, at 9 AM Pacific Daylight Time – slightly more than one month shy of his 90th birthday. He was lovingly surrounded by his family, who are at once, saddened by his passing, and relieved that he is no longer suffering.

We all feel extremely lucky to have had him in our lives and to have known and worked with Don over the years. We have also been tremendously honored to carry on his legacy as an original and truly legendary figure in the worlds of both Television and Science Education. He has been inspirational and influential in so many ways and on so many lives and we are comforted in the fact that his ground breaking work and legacy will continue to inspire many more people for years to come.

Thank you so much to all of you for your support and sympathy.


The Family

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