Fred Rogers Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (47)  | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (5)

Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, USA
Died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA  (stomach cancer)
Birth NameFred McFeely Rogers
Nickname Mr. Rogers
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Fred Rogers was the host of the popular long-running public television children's show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. The show debuted in Pittsburgh in 1967 and was picked up by PBS the next year, becoming a staple of public TV stations around the United States. Rogers' mild manner, cardigan sweaters and soft speaking voice made him both widely beloved and widely parodied. Rogers ended production of the show in 2001, but reruns of the show continued to be aired on many PBS stations. He died in 2003 after a short battle with stomach cancer.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Anonymous

Spouse (1)

Joanne Rogers (9 July 1952 - 27 February 2003) ( his death) ( 2 children)

Trade Mark (4)

Cardigan sweaters (many made by his mother)
His gentle and caring personality
Soft soothing voice with Pittsburgh accent
Catchphrase: "You made this a special day just by being Yourself"

Trivia (47)

Inducted into the Television Hall of Fame (1999).
From its premiere on February 19, 1968, until its end on August 31, 2001, 895 episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968) were produced, all of which he wrote and executive produced.
Rogers was ordained as a Presbyterian minister (1963).
Received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as well as the TV Critics Association.
Received two George Foster Peabody Awards.
Rogers was appointed Chairman of the Forum on Mass Media and Child Development of the White House Conference on Youth (1968).
Had three grandsons, born 1988, 1993, and 2003.
Grand marshal, Tournament of Roses parade. [2003]
Attended and graduated from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida (1951). Was a contemporary of actor Anthony Perkins.
He received his divinity degree from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (1962). The Presbyterian church ordained him and charged him with a special mission: in effect, to keep on doing what he was doing on television.
Books: Mister Rogers Talks with Parents, 1983; The New Baby (Mister Rogers' First Experiences Books), 1985; Making Friends (Mister Rogers' First Experiences Books), 1987; Mister Rogers: How Families Grow, 1988; You Are Special, 1994.
Records: Won't You Be My Neighbor?, 1967; Let's Be Together Today, 1968; Josephine, The Short-Necked Giraffe, 1963; You Are Special 1969; A Place of Our Own, 1970; Bedtime, 1992; Growing, 1992
Father of Jim Rogers and John Rogers.
Received the "Pennsylvania Founder's Award" for his "lifelong contribution to the Commonwealth in the spirit of Pennsylvania's founder, William Penn". [June 1999]
His wife Sara Joanne Byrd was his college sweetheart.
Named for his maternal grandfather, Frederick McFeeley. Years later, he named a character Mr. McFeely after his grandfather.
In 1985, Burger King used an actor impersonating Mister Rogers for a television commercial, calling the character Mister Rodney. Taking issue with the parody, Fred Rogers contacted the Senior Vice President of Burger King, Don Dempsey, who agreed to pull the advertisement. "To have someone who looks like me doing a commercial is very confusing for children," Fred Rogers said at the time. Mr. Dempsey pulled the commercial without question: "Mister Rogers is one guy you don't want to mess with, as beloved as he is." The $150,000 commercial aired only a few dozen times before being removed from the airwaves. It should also be noted that Rogers never did any commercial promotions of any kind.
Rogers' gentle manner was the butt of some comedian's jokes. Eddie Murphy parodied him on Saturday Night Live (1975) in the 1980s with his "Mister Robinson's Neighborhood", a routine Rogers found funny and affectionate. The fact that sketches were initially broadcast around midnight when Rogers' usual audience was in bed was likely another reason Rogers had no problem with the parody.
Was a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, a national music fraternity.
305 of the 895 episodes of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" still air today as reruns.
Asteroid no. 26858 was named Misterrogers after him. [May 2003]
His signature red sweater is on display at the Smithsonian Institute Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., having been a gift from Mister Rogers (1984).
He received his Bachelor's degree in Music Composition, and wrote most of the music performed on his show.
Bette Midler paid tribute to him in her 2003-2004 tour, "Kiss My Brass". Footage of Fred Rogers was shown singing "I Like to Be Told", in which Midler sang along. She also sported a red cardigan sweater.
During Halloween, the Rogers family always gave out sugar-free candies to local trick-or-treaters.
When Mister Rogers came on television singing his song, many children who actually lived on his street used to shout at their televisions, "But you ARE our neighbor!".
Johnny Carson once did a parody skit on The Tonight Show, "Mister Rambo's Neighborhood". When Fred Rogers complained, Carson publicly apologized.
After his death, a star was named after him.
On July 9, 2002, President George W. Bush presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House.
Named Celebrity Captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins for the National Hockey League's 75th Anniversary celebration in the 1991-1992 season.
His only television or film appearance as a character other than himself was as Reverend Thomas on the Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: Deal with the Devil (1996).
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 473-475. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
The iconic cardigan sweaters he wore were hand knit by his mother.
In December 1998, in a rare display of anger, Mr. Rogers filed suit against a Texas store for using his likeness on T-shirts, which contained a handgun and the slogan, "Welcome to my 'hood". Rogers did not simply want the T-shirts discontinued; he wanted them destroyed.
Rogers was instrumental in saving the VCR and, thus, paving the way for DVRs. He went against most of the rest of the television industry in testimony for the Supreme Court in noting that he thought it would be beneficial for children to be able to record his program and time shift viewing. The Supreme Court, quoting Mr. Rogers' testimony in a footnote in their decision, was swayed, ruling that the VCR did not infringe on the network's copyright.
According to one story, Rogers invited his limo driver, Billy, to a dinner hosted by a network executive, so that he wouldn't have to sit and wait for two hours. Afterwards, he rode in the limo's front seat to talk to Billy, and when he learned that they'd be passing Billy's family's house along the way to the hotel, Rogers asked if they could stop over so he could meet them. The affair became an impromptu party. Neighbors brought treats and Rogers entertained them by playing jazz piano. A few years later, when Rogers learned that Billy was dying of AIDS, he took time to call him in the hospital.
In an interview, Fred said the hardest time on his television show was when he had to go straight from his father's funeral to the studio and have to sing "It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood", while trying not to cry on-camera.
A long-standing rumor claimed that he was a combat veteran. Offshoots of that rumor further claimed that he was a Marine sniper (with a record number of kills) or that he was a Navy SEAL. These rumors were false. He never served in the military.
Pictured on a USA "forever" commemorative postage stamp issued 23 March 2018. Also shown on the stamp is King Friday XIII, one of Rogers' hand puppets featured on his TV series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968). Price on day of issue was 50¢.
An only child until his sister Elaine Crozier was adopted when Rogers was age 11.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6600 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on January 8, 1998.
Fred McFeely Rogers passed away on February 27, 2003, only three weeks away from what would have been his 75th birthday on March 20.
Never worked behind a desk in any of his offices. He wanted no barriers between himself and any visitors, especially children. Whenever he had a child visitor in his office, adults (unless they were with the child) would have to wait until the visit was over.
Even though he was officially an ordained minister, he never once said the word "God" in all his hours of television.
On September 21, 2018, he was posthumously honored with a Goggle Doddle.
He was a registered Republican.

Personal Quotes (15)

I think people who produce and perform on programs for children should have as a prerequisite some sort of course to understand their audience. You wouldn't put a newsman on the air who didn't know how to pronounce Vietnam. But we give millions of dollars to these people who are producing cartoons and they have no earthly idea of what they're doing to a kid.
I got into television because I hated it so. And I thought there's some way of using this fabulous instrument to nurture those who would watch and listen.
We have to remember to whom the airwaves belong, and we must put as great an emphasis on the nurturing of the human personality as we can. I believe that those of us who are the producers and purveyors of television -- or video games or newspapers or any mass media -- I believe that we are the servants of this nation.
You know you don't have to be an actor when you read a book to a child. All you need is to simply love what you're reading. Even just enjoying the pictures together is a great start. When you share a book with a child, you're saying to them that books are important. That's a gift that can nurture them all through their lives.
Parents are like shuttles on a loom. They join the threads of the past with threads of the future and leave their own bright patterns as they go.
You know, you don't have to look like everybody else to be acceptable and to feel acceptable.
Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.
I like to compare the holiday season with the way a child listens to a favorite story. The pleasure is in the familiar way the story begins, the anticipation of familiar turns it takes, the familiar moments of suspense, and the familiar climax and ending.
How sad it is that we give up on people who are just like us.
I think of discipline as the continual everyday process of helping a child learn self-discipline.
Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.
[2001] You know, it happens so often. I walk down the street and somebody twenty or thirty or forty years old would come up to me and say, "You ARE Mister Rogers, aren't you?" And then they tell me about growing up with the Neighborhood and how they're passing on to the children they know what they found to be important in our television work. Like expressing their feelings through music and art and dance and sports and drama and computers and writing and, invariably, we end our little time together with a hug. I'm just so proud of all of you who have grown up with us. And I know how tough it is some days to look with hope and confidence on the months and years ahead. But I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger: I like you just the way you are. And what's more, I'm so grateful to you for helping the children in your life to know that you will do everything you can to keep them safe, and to help them express their feelings in ways that will bring healing in many different neighborhoods. It's such a good feeling to know that we are life-long friends.
You don't ever have to do anything sensational for people to love you. When I say it's you I like, I'm talking about that part of you that knows that life is far more than anything you can ever see, or hear, or touch. That deep part of you that allows you to stand for those things, without which humankind cannot survive.
I am tired of hearing people, who have long ago set aside the concerns of childhood, telling everybody what children really need. I'll tell you what children need: they need adults who will protect them from the ever-ready molders of their world.
I'd like to be remembered for being a compassionate human being who happened to be fortunate enough to be born at a time when there was a fabulous thing called television that could allow me to use all the talents that I had been given.

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