Fred McFeely Rogers was born in 1928 in Latrobe, Pa.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in music composition from Rollins College in 1951.
In 1953, he joined Pittsburgh’s upstart WQED-TV, the nation’s first community-supported TV station. There he developed the first children’s TV show, The Children’s Corner, with Josie Carey. He co-produced the program and served as puppeteer and musician, but didn’t appear on camera.
Meanwhile, he attended the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Child Development and the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He became an ordained Presbyterian minister in 1963.
Later in 1963, he made his on-camera debut when he created a children’s series of 15-minute episodes, called Mister Rogers, for the Canadian Broadcasting Company.
He returned to WQED in 1966 and developed the 15-minute Mister Rogers concept into a half-hour show.
The first nationwide broadcast of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was on Feb. 19, 1968.
Fred Rogers has more than 150 songs registered with the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP).
He holds honorary degrees from 38 colleges and universities.
There have been about 30 or 40 of the famous sweaters used over the years. Fred says that his mother made many of the early ones.