Fred Rogers

Fred McFeely Rogers (1928 - 2003)

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Fred McFeely "Mister Rogers" Rogers
Born in Latrobe, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of [private wife (1920s - unknown)]
Father of [private son (1950s - unknown)] and [private son (1950s - unknown)]
Died in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
Profile last modified 7 May 2020 | Created 31 Oct 2015 | Last significant change: 7 May 2020
15:09: Jacob Schiller answered a question about Fred McFeely Rogers (1928-2003) [Thank Jacob for this]
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Fred Rogers was a children's educational program pioneer, American television personality, musician, puppeteer, writer, producer, and Presbyterian minister. He was the creator, composer, producer, head writer, and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood for over 30 years.[1][2][3]

Fred McFeely Rogers was born 20 Mar 1928 in Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, United States of America to James Rogers and Nancy McFeely.[4][5][6][7] He had one sister, Nancy "Laney" Elaine Rogers Crozier.[6][8] His family ran a brick company his grandfather had founded.[2]

Fred began to learn to play the piano at the age of 5 and used to sing along with his mother when she played. While attending Latrobe High School Fred served as the president of the student council, earned his pilot's license, was a member of the National Honor Society and was editor-in-chief of the yearbook before he graduated in 1946. He then went on to study at Dartmouth College from 1946 until 1948 when he went on at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida to earn a BA in music composition in 1951.[4][2] He sturied early childhood development at the University of Pittsburgh.[9]

While attending Rollins College he met Oakland, Florida native Sara Joanne Byrd, a concert pianist, and the two got married on June 9, 1952. They had two sons. After graduating, Fred attended and graduated from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained a minister of the United Presbyterian Church in 1963. [4][2][3]

Fred worked on several TV shows both in the United States and Canada before finding his calling on the television station, WQED, the first community owned station in the country. His first long-running success was the show, "The Children's Corner", which was on WQED for seven years. His time working on that show led to his best-loved creation, "Mister Rogers Neighborhood", which began in Canada as "Misterogers", was picked up on the Eastern seaboard of the states and eventually became available on the newly formed PBS, making it nationally available and Mister Rogers a household name. "Mister Rogers Neighborhood" went on to be the longest running series on public television. One of the hallmarks of the show that people so loved, in addition to the lovely puppets, laced-up loafers, and cozy cardigans, was Fred's way of discussing difficult subjects like death, war, divorce, and anger, with his contagious love, kindness, tact, and honesty. Fred did much of the puppetry and many of the voices of his puppets, himself, as he took his viewers on the trolley into the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.[3] The final episode of the show aired August 31, 2001, though it continues in re-runs and spin-offs on PBS.[4][2] Fred spoke to children with respect, making them feel they were okay, just the way they were, a sentiment instilled in him by his grandfather from an early age. He viewed his role in children's lives as an important one, which he took very seriously.[2][3] Fred briefly came out of retirement in the years following the September 11, 2001 World Trade Center attacks, to advise parents on how to approach the subject with their families as replays of the original newscasts were shown on televisions around the country.[3][9]

Fred was red–green color blind. He swam every morning and neither smoked nor drank. He became a vegetarian in his mid–40s, stating "I don't want to eat anything that has a mother." Contrary to rumor, he never served in the military. He wore his cardigans as much off-stage as he did on-stage, many of them made by his mother.[2][3]

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood won four Emmys, plus one for lifetime achievement. Fred received a Peabody Award in 1993 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in July 2002, presented by President George W. Bush.[9]

Fred died of stomach cancer February 27, 2003 at age 74 in his Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania home.[7][4][3] He was buried in Unity Cemetery, Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania in the Given Family Mausoleum [7]


  1. Wikipedia contributors. "Fred Rogers." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 21 Sep. 2018. Web. 14 Nov. 2019.Wikipedia:Fred Rogers
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 [ "Fred Rogers|His Make-Believe Image Is Real"], Journal StarSaturday, May 05, 1984 Peoria, ILPage: 50. Accessed via 14 Nov 2019
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Bismarck Tribune, The () , obit for Neighborhood mourns Mister Rogers: Fred Rogers dies of cancer at 74, ( : accessed 14 November 2019)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette () , obit for Fred Rogers - MISTER ROGERS, ( : accessed 14 November 2019)
  5. "United States Census, 1930," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 28 September 2018), Fred M Rodgers in household of James H Rodgers, Latrobe, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 74, sheet 13A, line 28, family 314, NARA microfilm publication T626 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2002), roll 2157; FHL microfilm 2,341,891.
  6. 6.0 6.1 "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 October 2015), Fred Rogers in household of James H Rogers, Ward 2, Latrobe, Latrobe Borough, Westmoreland, Pennsylvania, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 65-95, sheet 9B, family 179, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 3632.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 14 November 2019), memorial page for Fred Rogers (20 Mar 1928–27 Feb 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7216800, citing Unity Cemetery, Latrobe, Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .Find A Grave: Memorial #7216800
  8. Tribune-Review () , obit for Nancy Rogers "Laney" Crozier: Fred Rogers' sister devoted herself to community, ( : accessed 14 November 2019)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Advocate, The () , obit for Fred Rogers: Bye, neighbor "Mr. Rogers" Fred Rogers dies of cancer at 74 , ( : accessed 14 November 2019)

See also:

  • "United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 October 2015), Fred Rogers, Massachusetts, United States, 28 Feb 2003; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, ( : 2014); citing Worcester Telegram & Gazette, born-digital text.
  • "United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 October 2015), Fred Mcfeely Rogers, Longview, Washington, United States, 28 Feb 2003; from "Recent Newspaper Obituaries (1977 - Today)," database, ( : 2014); citing Daily News, The, born-digital text.
  • "Vermont, St. Albans Canadian Border Crossings, 1895-1954," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 October 2015), Fred Mcfeely Rogers, 1952; citing M1464, Soundex Index to Canadian Border Entries through the St. Albans, Vermont, District, 1895-1924, 632, NARA microfilm publications M1461, M1463, M1464, and M1465 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, publication year); FHL microfilm 2,155,402.
  • "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch ( : accessed 31 October 2015), Fred M Rogers, 27 Feb 2003; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).
  • THE NEIGHBORHOOD ARCHIVE - All Things Mister Rogers
  • Iowa State Daily (Ames, Iowa) 28 February 2003, obit for Fred Rogers: A sad day in Mister Rogers' neighborhood TV's 'Mr. Rogers' dies at age 74, ( : accessed 14 November 2019)

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Hi there profile managers!

We plan on featuring Fred as the Example Profile of the Week in the Connection finder on November 20th. Between now and then is a good time to take a look at the sources and biography to see if there are updates and improvements that need made, especially those that will bring it up to WikiTree Style Guide standards. I will check on the profile closer to the week we'll feature it and make changes as necessary.

Thanks! Abby

posted by Abby (Brown) Glann

Fred is 20 degrees from Donald Howard, 20 degrees from Julia Howe and 21 degrees from Henry VIII of England on our single family tree. Login to find your connection.