Fred McFeely Rogers (March 20, 1928 – February 27, 2003) was an American educator, Presbyterian minister, songwriter, and television host. Rogers was most famous for creating and hosting Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1968–2001), that featured his gentle, soft-spoken personality and directness to his audiences.
Initially educated to be a minister, Rogers was displeased with the way television addressed children and made an effort to change this when he began to write for and perform on local Pennsylvania shows dedicated to youth. The Public Broadcasting System developed his own nationally aired show in 1968 and over the course of three decades on television, he became an indelible American icon of children's entertainment and education, as well as a symbol of compassion, patience, and morality. He was also known for his advocacy of various public causes. He testified to the U.S. Supreme Court on time shifting; and he gave a now-famous speech before the U.S. Senate, advocating government funding for children's television rather than the Vietnam War.
Rogers was honored for his life work in children's education. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian honor, a Peabody Award for his career, and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. Two resolutions recognizing his work were unanimously passed by U.S. Congress, one of his trademark sweaters was acquired and is on display at the Smithsonian Institution, and several buildings and works of art in Pennsylvania are dedicated to his memory.