Fred McFeely Rogers was born on 20th March 1928 and died on 27th February 2003. He was an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister. He was known as the host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (1968–2001). The show featured Rogers’s kind, neighborly, avuncular persona, which nurtured his connection to the audience.
Mister Rogers Background Information
Rogers’s parents were James and Nancy Rogers whose residence was 40 miles (65 km) southeast of Pittsburgh in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He had a sister, Elaine. The young Fred Rogers spent his free time with his maternal grandfather Fred McFeely, who was interested in music; Rogers began to play the piano when he was five and sang along when his mother played. He acquired a piloting license in high school and was a lifelong Republican.
Mister Rogers works
Rogers wrote many of the songs that were used on his television program and wrote more than 36 books, including:
- Mister Rogers Talks with Parents (1983)
- Eight New Experiences titles:
- Going to the Doctor
- Going to the Hospital
- Going to Day Care
- Going to the Potty
- Making Friends
- The New Baby
- When a Pet Dies
- You Are Special: Words of Wisdom from America’s Most Beloved Neighbor (1994)
- The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember (2003)
Mister Rogers Death and Cause
In December 2002, Rogers was diagnosed with stomach cancer. He subsequently underwent surgery on 6th January 2003, which was unsuccessful. A week earlier, he had served as grand marshal of the Tournament of Roses Parade, with Art Linkletter and Bill Cosby.
Rogers died on the morning of February 27, 2003, at his home with his wife by his side, less than a month before he would have turned 75. The Reverend William P. Barker presided over a public memorial in Pittsburgh. More than 2,700 people attended the memorial at Heinz Hall, including former Good Morning America host David Hartman; Teresa Heinz Kerry; philanthropist Elsie Hillman; PBS President Pat Mitchell; Arthur creator Marc Brown; and Eric Carle, the author-illustrator of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Speakers remembered Rogers’s love of children, devotion to his religion, enthusiasm for music, and quirks. Teresa Heinz Kerry said of Rogers, “He never condescended, just invited us into his conversation. He spoke to us as the people we were, not as the people others wished we were.”
Fred Rogers was survived by his children James Byrd Rogers, John Frederick Rogers, and his wife Joanne Byrd.
Mister Rogers Honors and Recognition
At the 2003 Daytime Emmy Awards, host Wayne Brady and some of the cast of Sesame Street, including Big Bird, Elmo, Grover, Zoe, and Rosita, paid tribute to Rogers by singing a medley of some of his most popular songs, including “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” “It’s You I Like,” “Everybody’s Fancy,” “Many Ways to Say I Love You,” and “It’s Such a Good Feeling.” Once they finished, a small clip of Rogers accepting an Emmy was played, which led the audience to give a standing ovation.
In January 2018, it was announced that Tom Hanks would portray Rogers in an upcoming biographical film titled You Are My Friend directed by Marielle Heller. That same year, the biodoc Won’t You Be My Neighbor? based on the life and legacy of Rogers, was released to critical acclaim and became the highest-grossing biodoc film of all time.
Mister Rogers Google Doodle
On September 21, 2018, Google Doodle celebrates Fred Rogers who on 21 September 1967, 51 years ago, walked into the television studio at WQED in Pittsburgh to tape the very first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which would premiere nationally on PBS in February 1968. He became known as Mister Rogers, nationally beloved, sweater-wearing, “television neighbor,” whose groundbreaking children’s series inspired and educated generations of young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty.
|Born||March 20, 1928, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Died||February 27, 2003 (aged 74) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.|
|Cause of Death||stomach cancer|
|Other names||Mister Rogers|
|Education||Dartmouth College (attended)
Rollins College (B.A., 1951)
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (M.Div.)
|Occupation||Children’s television presenter, actor, puppeteer, singer, composer, television producer, author, educator, Presbyterian minister|
Joanne Byrd (m.1952-2003)
|Children||James Byrd Rogers and John Frederick Rogers|
|Net Worth||$3 million dollars at the time of his death|
|Google Doodle||Honored by Google Doodle on 21st September 2018, the day he walked into the television studio at WQED in Pittsburgh to tape the very first episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on 1967.|