27 February 2003 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Fred Rogers, the man who welcomed generations of children to his neighborhood as the host of the long-running PBS series Mister Rogers Neighborhood for more than 30 years, has died of cancer at the age of 74. According to family spokesman David Newell, who also played Mr. McFeely on the show, Rogers died at his Pittsburgh home on Thursday. Rogers had been diagnosed with stomach cancer after the holidays, according to Newell, who also said, "He was so genuinely, genuinely kind, a wonderful person. His mission was to work with families and children for television... That was his passion, his mission, and he did it from day one." Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister, produced Mister Rogers Neighborhood in Pittsburgh from 1968 to 2000, with the last new episode airing in August 2001; PBS stations across the country continue to run back episodes. Rogers is survived by his wife Joanne, their two sons, and two grandsons. --Prepared by IMDb staff; Associated Press contributed to this report


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