Mr. Fred Rogers


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An American educator, minister, songwriter, and television host. Being remembered not by your work but by devotedly loving children in their Toddler times.

Rogers was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, He was born to James and Nancy Rogers; he spent many years as an only child. Fred McFeely, and had an interest in puppetry and music. He would often sing along as his mother would play the piano. He was red-green colorblind.

At Rollins, Rogers met his wife, an Oakland native, Sara Joanne Byrd, whom he married on June 9, 1952. They had two children, James three grandsons, the third (Ian McFeely Rogers) born 12 days after Rogers' death. In 1962, Rogers graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Death and Memorial

Rogers died from stomach cancer on February 27, 2003, not long after his retirement and less than a month before he would have turned 75. The Reverend William P. Barker presided over a public memorial in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Over 2,700 people attended the memorial at Heinz Hall, including former "Good Morning America" host David Hartman, Teresa Heinz Kerry, philanthropist Elsie Hillman, PBS President Pat Mitchell, Arthur creator Marc Brown, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar author-illustrator Eric Carle.

Speakers remembered Rogers' love of children, devotion to his religion, enthusiasm for music, and quirks.

On New Years Day of 2004, Michael Keaton hosted the PBS TV special "Mr. Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor". It was released on DVD September 28 that year.Pittsburgh plans to unveil a $3 million statue of Rogers in 2008. To mark what would have been his 80th birthday, Rogers' production company sponsored several events to memorialize him, including "Won't You Wear a Sweater Day", during which fans and neighbors were asked to wear their favorite sweaters in celebration.

Mr. Fred Rogers


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