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Saturday, June 16, 2007 Mourns Don Herbert (Mr. Wizard)

Don Herbert, Mr Wizard has died at age 89. Herbert, the long time star of the "kitchen" science program Mr Wizard, was a much admired and copied TV presenter, explaining complex scientific topics using everyday materials and experience. If I recall, Mr Wizard was shown on PBS Channel 12 in a sort of throwback syndication of his original 1950's NBC show (547 Episodes in all, per Wikipedia), and then revived his show for Nickelodian in the 1980's.

The accompanying picture pretty much defines the appeal Mr. Wizard had in matches, fire, explosions, and a kid with a goofy haircut put into great danger, while Herbert looks on cooly..prompting Wapella youth to experiment with vast quanties of vinegar and baking soda, high explosives, modified model rockets, gunpowder, and tobacco products, tossed in to accentuate the danger.

Born July 10, 1917, in Waconia, Minn., Herbert later moved to Minneapolis and then La Crosse, Wis. He graduated from LaCrosse State Teachers College in 1940 and could have taught English or general science — his majors — but he recalled later that he was more interested in the theater. He worked as an actor and stagehand in a Minnesota theater group before moving to New York City in 1941. A year later, he volunteered for the Army Air Forces. As a B-24 bomber pilot, he flew 56 missions over Italy, Germany and Yugoslavia and received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak-leaf clusters.

Flags half mast for Army Air Corp veteran Don Herbert.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wizard has nothing on Dave Bowman and a little Na.


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