Rogers at the White House, 2002
Fred McFeely Rogers|
20 Mairch 1928
Latrobe, Pennsylvanie, U.S.
27 Februar 2003 (aged 74)|
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Ither names||Mister Rogers|
|Thrift||Children's televeesion presenter, actor, puppeteer, sanger, composer, televeesion producer, author, educator, Presbyterian minister|
|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 creator, componer, producer, head writer, an host o the preschuil televeesion series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood frae 1968 till his reteerment in 2001.
Rogers wisna happy wi the televeesion 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 televeesion icon o childer's enterteenment an eddication.
Table o contents
Early life[eedit | eedit soorce]
Rogers was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to James Rogers and Nancy McFeely. His father wis a businessman. His mother came frae a rich Pittsburgh family an also wis a hospital volunteer durin an after World War II. His grandfather frae his mother's side, Fred McFeely, wis the president o McFeely Brick, one o Latrobe’s largest businesses. Rogers grew up in a large brick mansion at 737 Weldon Street in Latrobe.
Early career[eedit | eedit soorce]
Rogers enterit seminary after college but wantit to work wi televeesion. 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". He applit for a job at NBC in New York Ceety in 1951 an workit first as an assistant producer, and later as a network floor director on musical programs such as Your Hit Parade, The Kate Smith Hour, an The Voice o Firestone. He also workit on Gabby Hayes's children's show.
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood[eedit | eedit soorce]
Mister Rogers' Neighborhood began in 1968 an ran for 895 episodes. It airit on National Educational Television, which later became The Public Broadcasting Service. The last set o new episodes wis tapit in Decembar 2000 an began airin in August 2001. By 1985, eight percent o fowk livin in the Unitit States watchit the show.
The program always startit with Rogers coming home, singin his theme song "Won't You Be My Neighbor?", an changin into sneakers. In his show, Rogers would always go on trips, teach new things an show short films on "Picture, Picture". Each episode includit a trip to Rogers's "Neighborhood of Make-Believe" wi a trolley, a castle, and the kingdom's citizens, includin King Friday XIII.
Rogers always fed his aquarium fish durin episodes an would always say this to his audience he wis feedin them because he receivit a letter frae a youn blind girl who wantit to know each time he did this. The program would end wi Rogers wingin "It's Such a Good Feelin".
Rogers believit not to act differently when he was being filmit and 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". Rogers wrote almost all of the music on the program. He wantit to teach children to love themselves an others, an he talkit about common childhood fears wi comfortin songs. He once took a trip to a children's hospital to show children that a hospital is not a place to fear.
Rogers would talk about social issues on his program includin the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, racism and divorce. One famous episode, Rogers soakit his feet wi Officer Clemmons (François Clemmons), who wis African-Americain, in a kiddie pool on a hot day. The scene was a message o inclusion durin a time when racial segregation in the Unitit States was common.
Rogers wis also kent for havin children wi disabilities on his show. 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. Erlanger an Rogers both sang a duet o the song "It's You I Like". Before the tapin, Erlanger had long been a fan of the program, and his parents wrote a letter to Rogers askin if they could meet.
Rogers never talkit about his religious beliefs on the show because he did not want any viewer to feel ignored frae the show. Durin the Gulf War, he comfortit his audience that all children in the neighborhood would be well carit for an askit parents to promise to take care of their children.
After the September 11 terrorist attacks, Rogers tapit public service announcements for parents about how to discuss tragic world news events wi their children, tellin them to "look for the helpers". The quote continues to go viral followin tragic news events.
PBS fundin[eedit | eedit soorce]
In 1969, Rogers appearit before the Unitit States Senate Subcommittee on Communications. His goal wis to ask the Senate to support fundin for PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, because proposit budget cuts. In about six minutes o testimony, Rogers spoke of the need for social an emotional education that public television gave. He arguit that other televeesion programmin like his Neighborhood helpit encourage children to become happy citizens.
The chairman o the subcommittee, John O. Pastore, did not know Rogers or his work an wis sometimes said to be impatient. However, after Rogers, Pastore said that the testimony had given him goosebumps, and said, "I think it's wonderful. Looks like you just earnit the $20 million". The subsequent congressional appropriation, for 1971, increasit PBS fundin frae $9 million to $22 million.
Other works[eedit | eedit soorce]
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.
The only time Rogers appearit on televeesion as someone other than himself wis in 1996 when he playit a preacher on one episode o Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Rogers voicit himself on the "Arthur Meets Mister Rogers" episode o the PBS Kids series Arthur.
Personal life[eedit | eedit soorce]
Rogers had an apartment in New York Ceety an a summer home on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts. Rogers wis red–green color blind, swam every mornin, an neither smoked nor drank. He wis a vegetarian on because he believit it was wrong, sayin "I don't want to eat anythin that has a mother". Despite popular rumors, he never servit in the military as a Navy SEAL durin the Vietnam War an never had tattoos.
Death[eedit | eedit soorce]
Rogers wis diagnosit wi stomach cancer in December 2002, not long after his retirement. He had surgery on Januar 6, 2003, which wis unsuccessful. A week earlier, he wis grand marshal o the Tournament o Roses Parade, wi Art Linkletter an Bill Cosby.
More than 2,700 people went to his memorial service at Heinz Hall, includin former Good Morning America host David Hartman, Teresa Heinz Kerry, philanthropist Elsie Hillman, PBS President Pat Mitchell, Arthur creator Marc Brown, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar author-illustrator Eric Carle. Rogers is burit at Unity Cemetery in Latrobe.
Honors[eedit | eedit soorce]
Rogers wis honorit wi the Presidential Medal o Freedom bi President George W. Bush, forty honorary degrees, an a Peabody Award. He wis addit into the Televeesion Hall o Fame. He wis listit number 35 o the TV Guide's Fifty Greatest TV Stars o All Time. The Smithsonian Institution has one of his sweaters as a "Treasure o Americain History".
References[eedit | eedit soorce]
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