Jim Fowler, Host of ‘Wild Kingdom,’ Dies at Age 87: Family

May 9, 2019 Updated: May 9, 2019

Jim Fowler, who was the host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” died at the age of 89, it was reported.

The Washington Post reported that he died on May 8. His family confirmed his death.

According to Legacy.com, Fowler “was usually the one that did the physical work on the show, such as wading in crocodile infested water.”

He also appeared on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight” show and “Conan.” Later, he was a leading figure for wildlife conservation and designed an animal park in Albany, Georgia.

Before he took over as host in 1986, he served as a co-host of the program with Marlin Perkins, starting in 1963.

“Jim Fowler was an early ambassador of wildlife conservation along with Marlin Perkins. He continued that wildlife stewardship late into his career and throughout his life,” said Dennis Pate, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, to KETV. “Jim set the stage for many others to follow in advancing wildlife conservation.”

Meanwhile, his family told WALB: “We are sad, however, that Uncle Jim died on May 8 at 2 a.m. in his own bed with his wife, our Aunt Betsey, beside him. We are glad to have honored him on the farm just a month ago.”

Other details about his death were not revealed.

In 2003, according to KETV, Fowler was given with the Lindbergh Award for his dedication to wildlife preservation.

“Jim Fowler’s enthusiastic, all-encompassing love for endangered wildlife has won him the affection of human and animal kind the world over,” said Reeve Lindbergh in announcing the award.

Notable Celebrity Deaths in 2019

John Singleton

director John Singleton portrait
John Singleton attends the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, Calif., on March 4, 2018. He died in late April after a stroke. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Nipsey Hussle

Nipsey Hussle and Lauren London in Los Angeles, on Feb. 7, 2019. The rapper was shot dead in late March. (Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images)

Luke Perry

Undated file photo of Luke Perry. (Newsmakers)

Peter Tork

Peter Tork of the Monkees died at 77 in February 2019. (Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)

Albert Finney

British actor Albert Finney died in February 2019 at the age of 82. (Lucy Nicholson/AFP/Getty Images)

James Ingram

Longtime R&B singer James Ingram died in late January. Quincy Jones, a collaborator of his, wrote, “With that soulful, whisky sounding voice, James Ingram was simply magical … every beautiful note that James sang pierced your essence and comfortably made itself at home.”

Singer James Ingram died at the age of 66 after a battle with brain cancer, according to reports on Jan. 29. (Getty Images)

Fatima Ali

“Top Chef” alum Fatima Ali died on Jan. 25, after a battle with terminal cancer. She was 29.

Former “Top Chef” contestant Bruce Kalman paid tribute to her, “It’s with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Fatima Ali today, as she has lost her battle with cancer.”

“Top Chef” star Fatima Ali died at the age of 29 after battling a form of bone cancer, said her family. (Instagram)

Carol Channing

broadway 3
Carol Channing, whose career spanned decades on Broadway and on television, died at age 97. Publicist B. Harlan Boll said Channing died of natural causes early in Rancho Mirage, Calif., on Jan. 15, 2019. (Jim Cole/AP Photo, File)

Bob Einstein

Premiere Of HBO's "Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind" - Arrivals
Bob Einstein in Hollywood, Calif., on June 27, 2018. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

Comedian and actor Bob Einstein died on Jan. 2 after a battle with cancer. He was 76.

Daryl Dragon

Daryl “The Captain” Dragon beside his ex-wife, Toni Tennille, wearing his signature captain’s hat. (Hillel Italie/AP)

Daryl Dragon, or “Captain,” of pop group Captain and Tennille, died on Jan. 2 of renal failure.