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A very sad day in the Neighborhood of Makebelieve :(

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A very sad day in the Neighborhood of Makebelieve :(

Old 02-27-03, 06:41 AM
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A very sad day in the Neighborhood of Makebelieve :(

For those who haven't heard Mister Rogers died earlier today at the age of 74. 2/27/03

We shall all miss him. I can't imagine how many lives he has touched. I was hoping that my kids would be able to grow up on Mister Rogers Neighborhood as I had. He had a short bout with stomach cancer.



We are very sorry to deliver the sad news that Fred Rogers died on February 27, 2003 after a brief battle with stomach cancer. We are grateful for the many people, young and old, who have cared about his work over the years and who continue to appreciate Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on PBS. We hope that you'll join us in celebrating his life by reflecting on his messages and taking them into your everyday lives."

According to the program's Web site, Fred McFeely Rogers was born in 1928 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, 40 miles east of Pittsburgh.

Rogers began developing his ideas for children's programming in the 1950s. He is best known for "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," which began in its early form in 1963 as a show on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Rogers took the idea to the U.S. and in 1967, the first "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" aired on Pittsburgh's WQED in 1967. A year later, PBS picked it up.

The last original "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" aired in 2001, making it PBS's longest-running program ever.

The slow-paced show offered an alternate universe to most of today's quick-edit cartoon children's programming. But on the eve of his final show, Rogers told CNN's Jeff Greenfield he looks at it as more than entertainment; it's a chance to reach young people and give them a foundation for a good life.

"I believe that those of us who are the producers and purveyors of television -- or video games or newspapers or any mass media -- I believe that we are the servants of this nation," Rogers said.

That's why he got into television in the first place.

"I got into television because I hated it so," he said. "And I thought there was some way of using this fabulous instrument to be of nurture to those who would watch and listen."

Up until the end, the show was taped at WQED, and until the end it started with Rogers donning a cardigan sweater and comfortable shoes as he enters his home in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Through the years, Rogers featured artists ranging from cellist Yo-Yo Ma to bodybuilder-actor Lou Ferrigno. He dealt with the death of pets and divorce, while teaching children to love themselves and others. His recurring characters included Mr. McFeely and Lady Elaine Fairchilde.

"Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" won loads of recognition, including four Emmys and a lifetime achievement award. A cardigan sweater belonging to Rogers hangs in the Smithsonian.

Those sweaters became Rogers' identifying characteristic. He credited his mom for the fashion statement that says, more than anything else, "Won't you be my neighbor?"
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Old 02-27-03, 07:32 AM
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Re: A very sad day in the Neighborhood of Makebelieve :(

Truly a sad day in my neighborhood. A truly good soul, I watched the show years after I passed the age target, because I found the Land of Make-believe so beautiful and wonderful.

It is sad to see him go, but at least he leaves behind a wonderful legacy.

And all those people who say "kill your television" should take this to heart:

[i]Originally posted by tanman

"I got into television because I hated it so," he said. "And I thought there was some way of using this fabulous instrument to be of nurture to those who would watch and listen."
All it apparently takes is a good heart, and you can do it.
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Old 02-27-03, 07:42 AM
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There's already a thread in Other about this... feel free to continue the discussion there.
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