Heartwarming Facts About ‘Mister Rogers’ And His ‘Neighborhood’ That Make Our World Seem Much Better

Fred Rogers, born in 1928, remains an icon of patience, wisdom, and kindness for ages. He’s the innovator of television, who taught a generation of children the value of such simple things as sincerity and kindness.

In celebration of what would’ve been his 90’th birthday, we’ve dug up several heartwarming facts about our favorite compassionate neighbor.

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1. Mr. Rogers was never afraid to use the program for making personal statements of different kinds. In most cases, these statements promoted love, kindness, and simple attitude toward life. Mr. Rogers did know what’s essentially important.

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2. After receiving the letter from a blind girl, asking whether or not Mr. Rogers fed his fish, he started announcing out loud that he was feeding the fish.

The Fred Rogers Company / Vimeo

3. Rogers was an ordained minister. As he preached tolerance and tremendous faith whenever he went, he decided to take his messages of kindness and love to the TV.

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4. Fred’s mom knitted all his sweaters. He wore them on every single program, as they reminded him of his mother’s love and devotion.

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5. Mr. Rogers never threw a single letter from his fans. What’s more, he responded to each, giving enough appreciation to the person who wrote it. Responding to fan mail was an integral part of his day-to-day routine, beginning as early as at 5 a.m. 

The Fred Rogers Company / Vimeo

Each day of Fred’s life began with prayer, studying, swimming, weighing himself, making arrangements and phone calls, and responding to each child, pouring its heart out in those sincere and pure letters.

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6. Not only kids and their parents adored Mister Rogers, as do did even animals. In fact, Stanford-educated gorilla Koko was his fan also. When Fred visited her, the gorilla immediately hugged him, shocking Mister Rogers to the core!

© 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' 1727: You & I Together (1998) / The Fred Rogers Company

7. Mister Rogers never believed in talking down to the kids, that’s why sometimes his programs raised such serious topics as divorce or even death.

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8. For Mister Rogers, 143 number was very special. He said it meant “I Love You”: 1 for I, 4 for 4 letters of ‘Love’, and 3 for 3 letters of ‘You’. 

© 'Mister Rogers' Neighborhood' 1698: Transformations / The Fred Rogers Company

9. Mister Rogers was a devoted musician. He played the piano since 5-year-old age and even graduated from college with a Music Composition degree. Later on, he composed a musical theme for the program and wrote the lyrics for some of the most popular songs sung in Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.

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What's even more, Fred Rogers was mad about dancing, and he did his best in break!

10. According to a Yale study comparing fans of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and Sesame Street, the kids who watched Rogers’ show had a much higher level of tolerance, could remember storylines better and were more patient compared to Sesame Street fans. 

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Shortly after his retirement, Mister Rogers was diagnosed with stomach cancer at the age 72. We miss Fred Rogers and his touching lessons, passed down through multiple generations.

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