Fred Rogers, more commonly known as Mr. Rogers, was one of the most beloved children’s television hosts of all time. His show Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, which debuted in 1968, had a positive impact on millions of children and adults, teaching his viewers invaluable lessons in patience and compassion. The show remains one of the most loved shows in TV history, with many people still able to recall the effect that Mr. Rogers’ gentle demeanor had on their development. In addition to spreading happiness and understanding, Fred Rogers was an incredible human who worked hard for the things he believed in, advocating for issues such as education for children, PBS funding, and testifying in court in favor of home recording so that families could watch his show when it was convenient for them to do so.
Fred Rogers passed away on February 27, 2003, but his mark on popular culture and history remains. He is remembered for his warmth and empathy, and for simply making the world a better place. Watch his 2001 farewell speech announcing his retirement below — if you shed a couple tears, we surely won’t judge.