Really cool geek whose real name was Don Herbert, he created a great children's science TV show
of the same name.
Herbert got his start in WWII, first working as a pilot, then moving on to radio, and finally television after the war. In 1951, in Chicago, Herbert got his first big break when he got a show on NBC called Watch Mister Wizard, in its 14 year run Herbert performed thousands of science experiments, and did it all with household items. Herbert later said this was the driving force behind his philosophy on the show; by making the science experiments more accessible, he hoped he could encourage more youngsters to dabble and maybe, one day, become scientists themselves.
The show ended in 1965, but Mr. Wizard was far from done. In 1971 the show was resuscitated for a brief, one-season stint, then, in 1983, the then upstart cable network Nickelodeon asked Herbert if he'd like to do his show one more time on their network. He agreed, and Mr Wizard's World entertained a new generation of future-geeks (including yours truly) for seven years.
After that point, Herbert continued his educational work by writing a series of children's science books. An inspiration to many a geek from many a generation, Mr. Wizard truly is a geek hero.