Fred McFeely Rogers was born in 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 40 miles east of Pittsburgh.
In November, 1953, the nation’s first community-sponsored educational television station, WQED Pittsburgh, asked Rogers to develop the first program schedule. One of the first programs he produced was “The Children’s Corner.” It was a daily, live, hour-long visit with music and puppets. Rogers served as puppeteer, composer, and organist.
Mr. Rogers was an educator, songwriter, puppeteer, producer, and children’s television programming pioneer, entertaining and educating children for nearly 50 years. Seen daily on public television stations across the country, the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” series had a unique approach to helping young children learn about themselves and their world. The longest running program on public television, the Neighborhood series is more important for today’s children than ever before. “The whole idea,” said the beloved host of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” “is to look at the television camera and present as much love as you possibly could to a person who needs it.”
Fred Rogers’ last public appearance was when he joined Bill Cosby and Art Linkletter as Grand Marshals of the 2003 Rose Bowl Parade, which saluted “Children’s Dreams, Wishes, and Imagination.” Tournament of Roses President Gary Thomas named these men as people who “have spent a lifetime entertaining children of all ages, offering insight into their imaginations, and in turn, serving as advocates for child welfare and development.” He passed away on February 27, 2003.