If you’re over 14 years old you were likely lucky enough to watch original episodes of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. While our childhood neighbor may have died in 2003, his legacy lives on. Here are 7 random facts about Mr. Rogers you don’t have to visit his neighborhood to discover:
1. Fred Rogers’ middle name was McFeely.
2. Mister Rogers was an ordained Presbyterian minister. Many people probably know this, but what they don’t know is that he graduated with a degree in music composition from Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
3. Rogers was red-green colorblind.
4. Rogers lived in New York City, but had a summer home on Nantucket.
5. Rogers was an avid swimmer. He swam every morning. He was also a vegetarian and didn’t smoke or drink.
6. Mr. Rogers’ first television gig was with NBC. That’s right, he went from NBC to PBS. Well, not directly – there was a pit stop at WQED public television in Pittsburgh and the CBC in Toronto, where he first developed Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, but that show didn’t become distributed in the United States until five years later, in 1968. PBS picked it up in 1969, and it ran for 895 episodes, through August of 2001. The rest, as they say, is history.
7. Mr. Rogers red sweater is on display at the Smithsonian.
Bonus. Mr. Rogers received forty honorary degrees during his career.