Profile of the Day: Fred Rogers
Remember watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood growing up? Today we remember everyone’s favorite neighbor Fred Rogers on what would have been his 89th birthday.
Fred McFeely Rogers was born on March 20, 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania to James and Nancy Rogers. Rogers did not originally intend to pursue a career in television. After college, he studied to become an ordained minister. However, his career path made an unexpected change when he returned home and discovered his parents had purchased a television. Unhappy with the programing available on TV, but seeing its potential, Rogers entered the medium to create programs that would nurture and educate viewers.
In 1968, his much beloved children’s show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired for the first time nationwide. The show continued to stay on the air on PBS until August 2001. An advocate for public broadcasting, Rogers helped save public television when he went before the Senate in 1969. To defend public television from severe budget cuts, he made an impassioned speech explaining how television and programs like his can help encourage children to become happy and productive citizens. His defense worked and instead of cutting the budget, funding for public television was increased.
Did you know his iconic sweaters were all knit by his mother?
Rogers died on February 27, 2003 at the age of 74.
How are you related? Explore his family tree and discover your connection to Mr. Rogers!