Bob Keeshan

Active - 1985 - 1996  |   Born - Jun 27, 1927 in Lynbrook, New York, United States  |   Died - Jan 23, 2004   |   Genres - Children's/Family

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Host of the long-running morning children's show Captain Kangaroo.

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Factsheet

  • Left his job as a page at NBC in New York to join the U.S. Marine Corps, where he served from 1945 to 1946.
  • Considered a law career before choosing entertainment.
  • Was the first Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show with Bob Smith.
  • Started playing Captain Kangaroo in 1955 by wearing a wig, later discarded when his own hair turned gray.
  • Won six Emmys for Captain Kangaroo over the course of its run on CBS and PBS.
  • Cofounded Corporate Family Solutions, which established day-care programs for businesses, in 1987.
  • Inducted into the Clown Hall of Fame in 1990.
  • Inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 1998.
  • Wrote such books as Growing Up Happy: Captain Kangaroo Tells Yesterday's Children How to Nurture Their Own (1989), the memoir Good Morning, Captain: Fifty Wonderful Years With Bob Keeshan, TV's Captain Kangaroo (1996) and multiple children's stories and activity guides.
  • Known for calming, rather than rousing, his audience (a New York Times reviewer noted that he "charmed" his young fans) he was an advocate for issues impacting children, and also pushed for tighter controls on the tobacco industry.
  • Never one to patronize kids, he promoted play products he felt enhanced childhood learning, including Etch A Sketch and Play-Doh.