Mr. Wizard has passed away.

Science lost one of its best ambassadors yesterday with the death of Don Herbert, better known to countless numbers as Mr. Wizard:

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.

I can remember watching Mr. Wizard’s World as a kid back in the 80s on the Nickelodeon channel, but older folks will probably remember him from his original series Watch Mr. Wizard on NBC in the 1950’s and 60’s. He’s part of the reason I had any interest in science and I often duplicated the experiments he demonstrated in his show. At least one of them left me with singed eyebrows, though, and I decided that perhaps being a scientist wasn’t the career path I should undertake. Mr. Wizard deserves some of the credit for keeping me interested in science over the years and he paved the way for other kid’s science shows to come such as Bill Nye and Beakman.