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Fred Rogers

Host of the popular long-running public television children's show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Rogers' mild manner, cardigan sweaters and soft speaking voice made him widely beloved. Used gentle charm and mannerisms to communicate with his audience of children. Topics centered on matters of concern to children, from everyday fears related to going to sleep, getting immunizations and disappointment about not getting one's way to losing a loved one to death and physical handicaps. He used simple songs and, on nearly every show, segments from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe to make his point. The show debuted on WQED-TV in Pittsburgh in 1967 and was picked up by PBS the next year, becoming a staple of public TV stations around the United States. First-run shows were produced from 1968 to 1975, at which time production was suspended until 1979. New programs were taped through 2001 for broadcast alongside the original 460 episodes, the most notable coming in 1991 with Rogers' shows focusing on calming children's fears during the Persian Gulf War. Rogers ended production of the show in 2001, but reruns of the show continued to be aired on many PBS stations. Following his death in 2003, his legacy continues with the Fred M. Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children's Media at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe PA.