Fred McFeely Rogers
Rogers, Fred McFeely, 1928–2003, American children's television personality, b. Latrobe, Pa. Rogers began working in television immediately after he graduated (1951) from Rollins College and in 1953 began his career in children's television with Pittsburgh's WQED. He also obtained (1962) a divinity degree and became (1963) a Presbyterian clergyman whose ministry was children's television. In 1968 he debuted on nationwide public television in "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood." From then until his retirement (2001), the soft-spoken, cardigan-clad Rogers presented one of America's perenially popular shows. It was one of the first programs to encourage children's self-esteem, self-control, cooperation, ability to deal with problems, appreciation of diversity, and other important values and behaviors. Over the years, Rogers won many awards including several Emmys and a Presidential Medal of Freedom (2002).