Jack Horkheimer, PBS Television's Star Gazer, passed away yesterday in Miami from respiratory disease that plagued him all his life. For the past thirty-five years--twenty five on a national basis--viewers who heard Isao Tomita's electronic interpretation of Debussy's Arabesque No. 1 knew it was time for some astronomical entertainment from the Star Gazer. He was quite a salesman, and living proof that you didn't necessarily need to be a subject matter expert in order to sell your product well.
For the last twenty years or so, Star Gazer has been available through a variety of media reaching millions of naked-eye astronomy enthusiasts around the world. We're going to miss Jack. Though they'll never be another quite like him, I do hope he made plans for a successor to help fans "keep looking up!"
For those who may not be familiar with the Star Gazer, here is the episode prepared for August 16-22: