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Though he was 76 years old when he died, it still came as something of a shock to many baby boomers when the news came over the weekend that Captain Kangaroo had died.

Actually, it was Bob Keeshan who passed away after years of heart problems. But Keeshan was better known as the character he invented in 1955 and portrayed for almost three decades - a gentle man with big pockets and an enormous mustache who never patronized those of us who grew up watching him.

Before Mr. Rogers unveiled his neighborhood, and before there was a Sesame Street…there was Captain Kangaroo.

We had the chance to meet him back in 1973 when we were working as a production assistant on a TV show in New York City. He was kind and serious and absolutely committed to treating children as intelligent, thoughtful human beings. Which was why the news of his death over the weekend was something of a shock.

More people should treat other people as intelligent, thoughtful human beings.
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