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Fred Facts

  • 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.

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