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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

February 27, 2003
Fred McFeely Rogers, better known as the man responsible for raising millions of American kids while their parents were busy spiraling into moral and cultural oblivion, passed on to the great tree house in the sky this morning. A world-wide children's entertainment and education icon, "Mister Rogers," the kindly neighbor died Thursday at respectably ripe old age of 74 after a short battle with stomach cancer.

The children's television icon was born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, in 1928. Some of you may better know the town of Latrobe, situated 40 miles east of Pittsburgh, as the home of another American staple, Rolling Rock Beer, but it was from Latrobe that Fred Rogers emerged to become one of (if not the) most notable children's entertainers of all time. After studying music composition in college - a background which would come into play with the development of his "Neighborhood" program - Rogers worked as a puppeteer for the WQED program "The Children's Corner." Eventually Rogers would take his music skills, along with a host of the characters from "The Children's Corner," across the border to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporatoin, which began airing "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" in 1963, the same year that Rogers was ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Rogers' service as a man of the cloth is little known but perhaps bears some mentioning in light of the urban legends surrounding him (seedy legends paint Rogers as everything from a convicted child molester who was introduced to children's television through court-mandated community service obligations to a Navy Seal sniper during the Vietnam War).

Four years after his career began with the CBC, Rogers was pulling on his slippers back in the United States at Pittsburgh's WQED where, a year later, PBS took notice and co-opted the show for good. Between it's inception in Canada and it's final season the program ran for 37 years, the last original episode airing in 2001, making it PBS's longest-running program ever.

An extremely practical man (his slipper routine came about as a result of having to scurry across the set quietly in stocking feet between scenes), Rogers was known to friends and colleagues as the kind, loveable Mister Rogers both on and off the set, with an overwhelming reputation as a decent, respectful human being genuinely interested in the development of children. While other celebrities were turning up in supermarket tabloids for child pornography, murder and drugs, Fred Rogers continued on with his wholesome daily routine, entertaining millions. In addition to his work on "Neighborhood," Rogers was also a noted author, penning classic titles such as Moving, Fighting, Going to the Doctor, and Going to the Potty to help a nation of dim-witted American housewives and absentee fathers raise their children. When honored in 1993 for his 25 years on the air with the Public Broadcast System, Rogers emphasized his advocacy for children in his acceptance speech.

According to his official website, Fred Rogers is survived by his wife Joanne, their two sons and two grandsons. Family Communications, the parent company of "Neighborhood," has recommended that anyone who wishes to share messages, pictures or drawings with the cast and staff of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood or with the Rogers family may send them to their office:

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
4802 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

SEE ALSO: www.misterrogers.org

--
Eric J Herboth
Eric J. Herboth is the founder, publisher and Managing Editor of LAS magazine. He is a magazine editor, freelance writer, bike mechanic, commercial pilot, graphic designer, International Scout enthusiast and giver of the benefit of the doubt. He currently lives in rural central Germany with his two best friends, dog Awahni and cat Scout.

See other articles by Eric J Herboth.

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