Mr. Rogers was an American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister. He was known as the creator and host of the educational preschool television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001.
Rogers was born on March 20, 1928, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Pittsburgh. His father, James, was a successful businessman who owned a large grocery store chain. His mother, Nancy, was a homemaker. Rogers had one younger sister named Elaine. He spent much of his childhood reading and playing make-believe games with his neighborhood friends.
As a teenager, Rogers enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve. He was honorably discharged after three years of service. He then attended Dartmouth College, where he studied music composition.
After college, Rogers began his career as a puppeteer on the children’s television show The Children’s Corner. He also worked as an assistant producer and writer for the educational television series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
Rogers was an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church. He was a lifelong pacifist and an advocate for nonviolent conflict resolution. He received numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was awarded to him by President George W. Bush in 2002.
Rogers died of stomach cancer on February 27, 2003, at the age of 74.
Millions of people around the world mourned the loss of Mr. Rogers. He was an American icon who was beloved by children and adults alike. He was a kind and gentle man who advocated for peace and understanding. He was a true role model who will be forever missed.