The show - 120 hour-long programs produced annually - ran until 1981 when it was moved from 8 a.m. to 7 a.m. to make room for CBS Morning News. Retitled Wake Up with the Captain, it was the beginning of the end for the beloved show. CBS continued to air the program until 1984 only because it was a favorite of William Paley, the network's founder.
Captain Kangaroo found a new home on public television in 1986, where it ran for six years. But it was carried by fewer than half of the more than 200 stations in the PBS network. Children's television had passed by Captain Kangaroo.
After leaving PBS, Mr. Keeshan spent the rest of his life writing about children's television, lobbying for better programming and working as a consultant on day-care environments. "I don't think it's any secret that Fred [Rogers] and I are not happy with the way children's television has gone," he said last year.
Mr. Keeshan strongly believed in the necessity of parental oversight. "We tell [children] to use to `use your words,' and then we turn them over to the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, who teach a very different message," he told The Sun in 1995.
"When did television become exempt from parental control - when we exercise control over the food and clothing of our children?" he asked. "Why do we fail to care about the child's emotional and moral diet? All television is educational. But the lessons learned may not be the lessons we want."
Mr. Keeshan's wife, Jeanne, died in 1990. He is survived by three sons.