“Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people.” – Fred Rogers
Probably no other man had as much impact on children’s television as Fred McFeely Rogers, born this date in 1928 and famous, of course, for creating and hosting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood on PBS.
Initially planning to be a minister, Rogers found himself displeased with how television addressed children and made an effort to write things that could cause change. In the process he became an indelible icon of children’s entertainment and education, as well as a symbol of compassion, morality and morality.
At the time of his death (from cancer in 2003) he had been honored with some 40 honorary degrees, a Peabody Award for his writing, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, the first “Children’s Advocate” so named.
Rogers also became the first kids’ TV host to testify before Congress and get that grumpy group to support TV programming for kids and provide funding for it as well. Honored with two Congressional resolutions, he is ranked among the 35 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
“Try your best to make goodness attractive,” Rogers advised. “That’s one of the toughest assignments you’ll ever be given.”