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Fred McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) was an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister. He was known as the creator, composer, producer, head writer, showrunner and host of the popular preschool television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968–2001). The show featured Rogers's kind, neighborly, avuncular persona, which nurtured his connection to the audience.
Trained and ordained as a minister, Rogers was displeased with the way television addressed children at the time; he began to write and perform local Pittsburgh-area shows for youth. In 1968, Eastern Educational Television Network began nationwide distribution of Rogers's new show on WQED. Over the course of three decades, Rogers became a television icon of children's entertainment and education.
Rogers advocated various public causes. On the Betamax case, the U.S. Supreme Court cited Rogers's prior testimony before a lower court in favor of fair-use television show recording (now called time shifting). Rogers also gave a testimony, now famous, advocating the government funding of children's television before a U.S. Senate committee.
Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, 40 honorary degrees, and a Peabody Award. He was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and was recognized in two congressional resolutions. He was ranked number 35 of the TV Guide's Fifty Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
Several buildings and artworks in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory, and the Smithsonian Institution displays one of his trademark sweaters as a "Treasure of American History". On June 25, 2016, the Fred Rogers Historical Marker was placed near Latrobe, Pennsylvania in his memory.
Last Updated: August 22, 2018