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Fred Rogers

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Fred Rogers
Rogers at the White House, 2002
BornFred McFeely Rogers
20 Mairch 1928(1928-03-20)
Latrobe, Pennsylvanie, U.S.
Dee'd27 Februar 2003(2003-02-27) (aged 74)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Ither namesMister Rogers
ThriftChildren's televeesion presenter, actor, puppeteer, sanger, composer, televeesion producer, author, educator, Presbyterian minister
Years active1951–2001
Hauf-marrae(s)Joanne Byrd (m. 1952)

Fred McFeely Rogers (20 Mairch 1928 – 27 Februar 2003) wis an American televeesion personality, muisicker, puppeteer, writer, producer, an Presbyterian meenister. He wis kent as the creautor, componer, producer, heid writer, an host o the preschuil telly series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood frae 1968 till his reteerment in 2001.[1]

Rogers wisna happy wi the telly shaws that childer war seein. He begoud tae write an perform local Pittsburgh-aurie shaws for childer. In 1968, Eastern Educational Television Network begoud naitionwide distribution o Rogers's new show on WQED. For thirty years, Rogers becam a telly icon o childer's enterteenment an eddication.[2]

Early life

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Rogers wis born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania tae James Rogers an Nancy McFeely.[3] His faither wis a businessman.[3] His mither came frae a rich Pittsburgh faimily an an aw wis a hospital volunteer durin an efter World War II.[4] His grandfaither frae his mither's side, Fred McFeely, wis the preses o McFeely Brick, ane o Latrobe’s lairgest businesses.[5] Rogers grew up in a lairge brick mansion at 737 Weldon Street in Latrobe.[4][6]

While studyin at Rollins College, Rogers met Sara Joanne Byrd who wis frae Oakland, Florida.[7] Thay war marrit on Juin 9, 1952.[8] Thay haed tae sons: James, in 1959, an John, in 1961.[9]

Early career

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Rogers enterit seminary efter college but wantit tae work wi telly.[10] In an interview wi CNN, Rogers said, "I went into televeesion because I hatit it so, an I thought there's some way of usin this fabulous instrument to nurture those who would watch an listen".[11] He applit for a job at NBC in New York Ceety in 1951 an workit first as an assistant producer, an later as a network floor director on muisical programs sic as Your Hit Parade, The Kate Smith Hour, an The Voice o Firestone.[12][13] He an aw workit on Gabby Hayes's childer's show.[14]

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

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Mister Rogers' Neighborhood began in 1968 an ran for 895 episodes.[15] It airit on National Educational Television, which later became The Public Broadcasting Service.[16] The last set o new episodes wis tapit in Decembar 2000 an began airin in Decembar 2001.[17] Bi 1985, aicht percent o fowk livin in the Unitit States watchit the show.[18] The program anyways started with Rogers coming home, singin his theme sang "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", an changin intae sneakers.[19] In his show, Rogers wad ayeweys gang on trips, teach new things an other words on "Picture, Picture".[20][21] Each episode includit a trip tae Rogers's "House of Horror" wi a trolley, a trouble for Halloween.[22]

Rogers ayeweys fed his aquarium fish durin episodes an wad ayeweys say this tae his audience he wis feedin them acause he receivit a letter frae a youn blind girl who wantit tae know each time he did this.[23][24] The program wad end wi Rogers wingin "It's Such a Good Feelin".[25]

Rogers believit nae tae act differently when he wis bein filmit an how he acted normally, sayin that "One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift o your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away".[26] Rogers wrote awmaist aw o the muisic on the program.[27] He wantit tae teach childer tae luve themselves an others, an he talkit aboot common childhood fears wi comfortin sangs.[27] He ance teuk a trip tae a childer's hospital tae show childer that a hospital is nae a place tae fear.[28]

Rogers wad talk aboot social issues on his program includin the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, racism an divorce.[29] Ane famous episode, Rogers soakit his feet wi Officer Clemmons (François Clemmons), who wis African-Americain, in a kiddie pool on a het day.[30] The scene wis a message o inclusion durin a time when racial segregation in the Unitit States wis common.[30]

Rogers wis an aw kent for havin childer wi disabilities on his show.[31] In a 1981 episode, Rogers met a young quadriplegic boy, Jeff Erlanger, who showit how his electric wheelchair workit an explainit why he needed it.[32] Erlanger an Rogers baith sang a duet o the sang "It's You I Like".[32] Afore the tapin, Erlanger haed lang been a fan o the program, an his parents wrote a letter tae Rogers askin if thay coud meet.[31][33]

Rogers never talkit aboot his religious beliefs on the show acause he did nae want ony viewer tae feel ignored frae the show.[34] Durin the Gulf War, he comfortit his audience that aw childer in the neighborhood wad be well carit for an askit parents tae promise tae tak care of thair childer.[35]

Efter the September 11 terrorist attacks, Rogers tapit public service announcements for parents aboot how tae discuss tragic world news events wi thair childer, tellin them tae "look for the helpers".[36] The quote continues tae gang viral followin tragic news events.[37]

PBS fundin

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Rogers testifyin afore the Unitit States Senate aboot PBS fundin, 1969

In 1969, Rogers appearit afore the Unitit States Senate Subcommittee on Communications.[38] His goal wis tae ask the Senate tae support fundin for PBS an the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, acause proposit budget cuts.[38] In aboot sax minutes o testimony, Rogers spoke o the need for social an emotional eddication that public television gae.[38] He arguit that ither telly programmin lik his Neighborhood helpit encourage childer tae acome happy ceetizens.[38]

The chairman o the subcommittee, John O. Pastore, did nae know Rogers or his work an wis whiles said tae be impatient.[38][39] Houiver, efter Rogers, Pastore said that the testimony haed gien him goosebumps, an said, "I think it's wonderful. Looks like you just earnit the $20 million".[38] The subsequent congressional appropriation, for 1971, increasit PBS fundin frae $9 million tae $22 million.[39]

Other works

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In 1978, while takin a break frae tapin new Neighborhood episodes, Rogers hostit an interview program for adults on PBS callit Old Friends...New Friends.[40]

The anly time Rogers appearit on telly as someone ither than himsel wis in 1996 when he playit a preacher on ane episode o Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.[18] Rogers voicit himsel on the "Arthur Meets Mister Rogers" episode o the PBS Kids series Arthur.[41]

Personal life

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Rogers haed an apartment in New York Ceety an a simmer home on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts.[10] Rogers wis reid–green color blind,[42] swam every mornin, an neither smoked nor drank.[43] He wis a vegetarian on acause he believit it wis wrong, sayin "I don't want to eat anythin that has a mother".[44] Despite popular rumors, he never servit in the military as a Navy SEAL durin the Vietnam War an never haed tattoos.[45][46][47]

In 1992, he wis awardit the Peabody Award.[48]

Rogers wis diagnosit wi stomach cancer in December 2002, nae lang efter his retirement.[49] He haed surgery on Januar 6, 2003, which wis unsuccessful.[50][51] A week earlier, he wis grand marshal o the Tournament o Roses Parade, wi Art Linkletter an Bill Cosby.[52]

Rogers died on the mornin o Februar 27, 2003 efter slippin intae a coma, at his home in Pittsburgh wi his wife bi his side, less nor a month afore he wad hae turnit 75.[53][54]

Mair nor 2,700 fowk went tae his memorial service at Heinz Hall, includin umwhile Good Morning America host David Hartman, Teresa Heinz Kerry, philanthropist Elsie Hillman, PBS Preses Pat Mitchell, Arthur creautor Marc Brown, an The Very Hungry Caterpillar author-illustrator Eric Carle.[55][56] Rogers is burit at Unity Cemetery in Latrobe.[57]

Rogers wis honorit wi the Presidential Medal o Freedom bi Preses George W. Bush, forty honorary degrees, an a Peabody Award. He wis addit intae the Televeesion Hall o Fame.[58] He wis listit nummer 35 o the TV Guide's Fifty Greatest TV Stars o All Time.[59] The Smithsonian Institution haes ane of his sweaters as a "Treasure o Americain History".


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  1. Jackson, K.M.; Emmanuel, S.M. (2016). Revisiting Mister Rogers' Neighborhood: Essays on Lessons About Self and Community. McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-7864-7296-3. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  2. Sostek, Anya (6 November 2009). "Mr. Rogers takes rightful place at riverside tribute". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 6 September 2010.
  3. a b "Early Life". Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning & Children's Media. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  4. a b King, M. (2018). The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers. ABRAMS. ISBN 978-1-68335-349-2. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  5. "It's a Sad Day in This Neighborhood". latimes. 28 Februar 2003. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  6. "The Fred Rogers Trail". VisitPA | #visitPA. 28 Juin 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  7. Vancheri, Barbara (25 December 2003). "As promised, Joanne Rogers is doing 'fine'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived frae the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  8. "Fred McFeely Rogers". UXL Newsmakers (2005). 2005. Archived frae the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 13 December 2007 – via Find Articles. Unknown parameter |dead-url= ignored (help)
  9. Vancheri, Barbara; Owen, Rob (4 Mey 2003). "Pittsburgh bids farewell to Fred Rogers with moving public tribute". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived frae the original on 21 Januar 2012. Retrieved 30 Julie 2010.
  10. a b Junod, Tom (November 1998). "Can You Say ... 'Hero'?". Esquire. Archived frae the original on 1 Mairch 2003. Retrieved 30 Julie 2010. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)
  11. Millman, Joyce (10 August 1999). "Salon Brilliant Careers: Fred Rogers". Salon. Archived frae the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 30 Julie 2010. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)
  12. "Terry Gross and Fred Rogers". Fresh Air with Terry Gross. NPR. 28 Februar 2003. Retrieved 29 September 2016. Show originally aired 1985
  13. Obis, Paul (November 1983). "America's Favorite Neighbor". Vegetarian Times. pp. 22–26.
  14. "In the Land of Make Believe, The Real Mister Rogers". Washington Post. 18 November 1982. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  15. "Filming Mister Rogers' Neighborhood". Johnny Costa Pittsburgh's Legendary Jazz Pianist. Archived frae the original on 6 November 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  16. Hart, Ron (19 Februar 1968). "The Music of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood and Johnny Costa". JazzTimes. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  17. "Mr. Rogers says goodbye -- for now". CNN. 31 August 2001. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  18. a b Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named DeFranceso
  19. "Fred Rogers". Television Academy Interviews. 1 Januar 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  20. "DPTV celebrates 50th anniversary of 'Mr. Rogers'". Detroit News. 23 Februar 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  21. "100 Billionth Crayola Crayon". Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning & Children's Media. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  22. Collins, M.; Kimmel, M.M. (1997). Mister Rogers Neighborhood: Children Television And Fred Rogers. University of Pittsburgh Press. ISBN 978-0-8229-8008-7. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  23. Rogers, F. (1996). Dear Mr. Rogers, Does It Ever Rain in Your Neighborhood?: Letters to Mr. Rogers. Penguin Publishing Group. ISBN 978-1-101-16169-2. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  24. "WATCH: This Is Why We Will Always Love Mr. Rogers". HuffPost. 10 Apryle 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  25. "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Credit Videos". Retro Junk. Archived frae the original on 27 October 2018. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  26. Owen, Rob (12 November 2000). "There goes the Neighborhood: Mister Rogers will make last episodes of show in December". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Magazine. Retrieved 20 Mairch 2011.
  27. a b "The Music of Mister Rogers". Pittsburgh Gazette. 22 Februar 2018. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  28. "WOUB-HD to Air 'Mr. Rogers: It's You I Like' March 6". WOUB Digital. 2 Mairch 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  29. Meek, Tom (5 Juin 2018). "'Won't You Be My Neighbor?' Frames Mr. Rogers As A Man On A Mission". WBUR. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  30. a b Blickley, Leigh (8 Juin 2018). "The Gay 'Ghetto Boy' Who Bonded With Mister Rogers And Changed The Neighborhood". HuffPost. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  31. a b "How 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' Championed Children With Disabilities". Guideposts. 15 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  32. a b "Obituary: Jeffrey Erlanger / Quadriplegic who endeared himself to Mister Rogers". Pittsburgh Gazette. 14 Juin 2007. Retrieved 1 November 2018.
  33. "Remembering Mr. Rogers, a True-Life 'Helper' When the World Still Needs One". EW.com (in Inglis). Retrieved 8 Mairch 2018.
  34. "The surprising success - and faith - of Mister Rogers and 'Won't You Be My Neighbor?'". The Salt Lake Tribune. 13 Julie 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  35. "PBS Public Service Announcement with mister rogers : NeighborhoodVideo : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive". Internet Archive. 17 October 2017. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  36. "Mr. Rogers' words of comfort revived in wake of tragedy". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  37. "Why Mister Rogers' Plea To 'Look For The Helpers' Still Resonates Today". HuffPost. 8 Juin 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  38. a b c d e f "Mister Rogers defending PBS to the US Senate". 29 Juin 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2016 – via YouTube.
  39. a b "Fred Rogers Beyond the Neighborhood: Senate Committee Hearing". Fred Rogers Center. 1969. Archived frae the original on 17 Juin 2012. Retrieved 27 Mey 2014. Unknown parameter |dead-url= ignored (help)
  40. "Fred Rogers Moves into a New Neighborhood—and So Does His Rebellious Son". PEOPLE.com. 15 Mey 1978. Retrieved 26 October 2018.
  41. Fred Rogers – Voice Actor Profile at Voice Chasers Archived 2018-11-20 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved October 19, 2012
  42. Roddy, Dennis (1 Mairch 2003). "Fred Rogers kept it simple, and elegantly so". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived frae the original on 4 Juin 2011. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
  43. Millman, Joyce (10 August 1999). "Salon Brilliant Careers: Fred Rogers". Salon.com. Salon Media Group. Archived frae the original on 18 December 2010. Retrieved 30 Julie 2010.
  44. "Legacy of Fred Rogers". Archived frae the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  45. Emery, David (26 November 2011). "Mr. Rogers Was a Marine Sniper / Navy SEAL?". Urbanlegends.about.com. Archived frae the original on 22 Mey 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  46. "Mr. Rogers Was a Sniper in Vietnam-Fiction!". Truthorfiction.com. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  47. "Won't You Be My Fiend?". snopes.com. 7 August 2007. Retrieved 22 December 2011.
  48. "George Foster Peabody Award Winners". University of Georgia, George Foster Peabody Award. Archived frae the original on 7 October 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2018.
  49. "Mister Rogers Shows Us How Crayons Are Made". South Dakota Public Broadcasting. 25 Februar 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  50. Owen, Rob; Barbara Vancheri (28 Februar 2003). "Fred Rogers dies at 74". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived frae the original on 19 December 2011. Retrieved 30 Julie 2010.
  51. Everhart, Karen (10 Mairch 2003). "Fred Rogers, 1928–2003". Current. Archived frae the original on 17 Juin 2011. Retrieved 30 Julie 2010.
  52. "Grand Marshal Slide Show Main". Tournament of Roses. 2004. Archived frae the original on 11 November 2006. Retrieved 26 Februar 2010.
  53. Lewis, Daniel (February 28, 2003). Fred Rogers, Host of 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood,' Dies at 74, The New York Times. Retrieved on January 9, 2011.
  54. "The Saintliness of Fred Rogers". USCatholic.org. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  55. "The Two Freds: When Phelps Protested Mr. Rogers's Memorial". The New Yorker. 20 Mairch 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  56. "Pittsburgh Bids Farewell to Fred Rogers with Moving Public Tribute". 4 Mey 2003. Archived frae the original on 6 Januar 2022. Retrieved 2 November 2018.
  57. King, M. (2018). The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers. ABRAMS. p. 443. ISBN 978-1-68335-349-2. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  58. "Hall of Fame". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Archived frae the original on 16 December 2008. Retrieved 3 December 2008. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)
  59. "Special Collectors' Issue: 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time". TV Guide (December 14–20, 1996). 1996.

Ither wabsteids

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