Bob Keeshan, known by millions of American children as television's grandfatherly Captain Kangaroo, has died after a long illness. He was 76.

For nearly 30 years - from 1955 to 1984 - Mr. Keeshan blended easy-going entertainment and education for children on the Captain Kangaroo show aired live on the CBS network.

His family says Mr. Keeshan considered himself an advocate for children and all that they deserve.

Mr. Keeshan was a U.S. Marine during World War II. He began his acting career as Clarabell the Clown on another children's television program, The Howdy Doody Show.

In the Captain Kangaroo show, Mr. Keeshan wore a jacket with oversize, pouch-like pockets. His sidekicks on the show included Mr. Green Jeans and Bunny Rabbit.