Amidst all of the current children's television programming, it is hard to believe that such a man as Fred Rogers, with his calm and peaceful demeanor, was able to captivate millions of children (and their parents) with his easygoing and assuring on-screen presence. Yesterday, Mister Rogers, who had been diagnosed with stomach cancer, passed away in his Pittsburgh home at the age of 74. Rogers began his career in 1954 at WQED in Pittsburgh, where he was a puppeteer for a local show. After his ordination as a Presbyterian minister in 1963, he accepted an offer to develop his own show for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. In 1966, the show moved back to Pittsburgh and, in 1968, was distributed through National Educational Television, which eventually became PBS. Throughout the years, the show became a hallmark of PBS's programming schedule and was much beloved for its unique facets, such as Mister Rogers' trips to different shops and stores and of course the trolley rides into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.
The first link leads to a news article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that relates the story of Fred Rogers' life and passing. The second link leads to a NPR radio interview conducted with Mister Rogers on November 8, 2002, where he speaks about children and growing up during the Great Depression. The third link will take visitors to the site maintained by PBS that offers a host of material about his show, along with information for parents that will help talk with their children about his death. The fourth link is to a news story from July 9, 2002, where Rogers received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush. The fifth link leads to an interview with Rogers conducted by Education World in which he reflects on classroom composure, diversity, and mutual respect. The final link will take visitors to an article written by Jessica Reaves of TIME.com, who was Mister Rogers' real-life neighborhood when she was growing up in Pittsburgh.