Who is Mr Rogers?


If you grew up outside the United States (as I did), you could be forgiven for not knowing who Mr Rogers is/was. Some years ago, after endless cultural references, my own curiosity was piqued and I made it my business to find out about him.

The basic story is that he presented a children's programme called Mister Roger's Neighborhood for more than thirty years–think Bosco meets The Den and Wanderly Wagon. He died in 2003.

His style of speech and presentation now seems almost like a parody of the hopeless do-gooder, but if you are man enough to let your guard down for a minute, his gentleness and common sense soon become overwhelming.

Here is his farewell message when the Neighborhood was ending its run.

And here he is famously making a six-minute plea before the 1969 US Senate State Subcommittee on Communications, which secured $20M in funding for PBS (the US public broadcasting service).

Recently, I've found myself wondering if I'd ever have the kind of courage it takes to be as gentle and honest as Mister Rogers. I seem to miss not growing up with him.

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