Don Herbert, ‘Mr. Wizard’ (July 10, 1917 – June 12, 2007)

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Donald Jeffrey Herbert “Mr. Wizard” (July 10, 1917 – June 12, 2007) brought science and fun to millions in the 50s, then again in the 80’s. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV for the most part, but Mr. Wizard was one of the shows which was always perfectly OK. After the news of Mr. Wizard passing away at the age of 89 today many makers sent in the news and brief comments like “I wouldn’t be where I am today without Mr. Wizard” – Post up your favorite memories, stories and more.

Watch Mr. Wizard (1951) had 547 live episodes. The show won a Peabody Award.
Mr. Wizard’s World (1983 -1990) was the longest running show on Nickelodeon.
In 1955 there were about 5,000 Mr. Wizard Science Clubs nationwide with more than 100,000 members.

  • Don Herbert, Los Angeles Times obituary – Link.
  • Donald Jeffrey Herbert, Wikipedia – Link.

More:

  • Mr. Wizard Studios – Link.
  • Watch Mr. Wizard – Link.
  • Mr. Wizard’s World – Link.
  • Interview with Mr. Wizard on The Sound of Young America – Link.

14 thoughts on “Don Herbert, ‘Mr. Wizard’ (July 10, 1917 – June 12, 2007)

  1. What I learned from Don Herbert was that the world could be understood – and should be understood. So I built crystal radios, pinhole cameras, parachutes, magnets, and most of the other science toys available to a child of the fifties. I still want to know how things work. I still make my own toys.

    When I saw Gilligan’s Island I was sure that Russell Johnson had modelled his role as The Professor after Mr. Wizard. Ya think?

  2. I remember waking up early (5 or 6am) to watch him on Nickelodeon in the mid to late ’90s. I remember when he came to my elementary school to do a show because his grand daughter was in my class (I’m sure she’s upset right now). Wow, I wish I could remember more of his shows though.

  3. I remember waking up early (5 or 6am) to watch him on Nickelodeon in the mid to late ’90s. I remember when he came to my elementary school to do a show because his grand daughter was in my class (I’m sure she’s upset right now). Wow, I wish I could remember more of his shows though.

  4. I had watched his program on Nickelodeon as a youth, there was a particular episode about using buttermilk or lemon juice to write a ‘secret message’ that could be revealed by holding a the note over a candle.

    “Cool!” “Get an adult to supervise as fire can be dangerous” “Will do Mr.Wizard!”

    So I ran and got my Mother, who is the sweetest old lady in the world, but also far from the sharpest crayon in the box.

    She put the note directly in the flame, then she panicked, dropped the burning secret note and set our carpet ablaze.

    Didn’t burn the house down, but ruined the carpet to the point we had to hide it with a floor rug.

    But that’s not Mr.Wizzards fault, I should have been smart enough with his careful aid to have found a ‘responsible’ adult :)

    God speed Don.

  5. I had watched his program on Nickelodeon as a youth, there was a particular episode about using buttermilk or lemon juice to write a ‘secret message’ that could be revealed by holding a the note over a candle.

    “Cool!” “Get an adult to supervise as fire can be dangerous” “Will do Mr.Wizard!”

    So I ran and got my Mother, who is the sweetest old lady in the world, but also far from the sharpest crayon in the box.

    She put the note directly in the flame, then she panicked, dropped the burning secret note and set our carpet ablaze.

    Didn’t burn the house down, but ruined the carpet to the point we had to hide it with a floor rug.

    But that’s not Mr.Wizzards fault, I should have been smart enough with his careful aid to have found a ‘responsible’ adult :)

    God speed Don.

  6. I watched him in the 50’s and 60’s and learned many things.
    I had the pleasure of watching him again in the 80’s with my son, seeing the twinkle is his eyes that I, no doubt, had when I was his age.
    Mr. Wizard will live on in the fertile minds of many folks who learned about the world through his TV show.
    Many of those folks are Makers.
    Thanks for everything Don.
    Sorry about the sink Mom and Dad.

  7. I watched him a lot on Nickelodeon in the 80s. It was the coolest thing on TV at the time. A couple of episodes I really remember was putting a coke bottle in a ultrasonic bath which makes the coke shoot out like the new mentos/diet coke combination. When he brought out the HERO-1 robot I about wet myself. I had to have one of those! It was a freaking robot you could build yourself! I asked for it every christmas…but alas…never got one. Maybe it’s time to check eBay. I’ll miss you Mr. Wizard.

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