CAPTAIN KANGAROO host Bob Keeshan died in Montpelier, Vermont on Jan. 23, 2004, reports CNN. He was 76 and had been suffering from a long illness. Keeshan hosted the CBS children's show from 1955 to 1985. The classic UPA TOM TERRIFIC series, created by Gene Deitch, was created specifically to air on CAPTAIN KANGAROO. He started working in entertainment as a NBC page during high school. For five years, he played the silent Clarabell the Clown on THE HOWDY DOODY SHOW.
In a statement released by his family, they said: "Our father, grandfather and friend was as passionate for his family as he was for America's children. He was largely a private man living an often public life as an advocate for all that our nation's children deserve."
He is survived by a son, two daughters and six grandchildren.