Quotes from Mister Rogers that still inspire us today

This June 28, 1989 file photo shows Fred Rogers as he rehearses the opening of his PBS show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" during a taping in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) This June 28, 1989 file photo shows Fred Rogers as he rehearses the opening of his PBS show "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" during a taping in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

(Meredith) – It’s hard to believe that the final episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood aired almost 20 years ago in 2001.

And it’s even harder to believe that Fred McFeely Rogers died 15 years ago, leaving behind big loafers to fill, a feat that no one has yet to accomplish.

To honor one of television's most beloved icons, the United States Postal Service announced a stamp featuring Mister Rogers would become available in March.

[Related: A Mister Rogers stamp is coming out next month]

But a stamp is just one way we can remember Fred Rogers. Here are a few facts about him you might not know:

  • Fred McFeely Rogers was born on March 20, 1928.
  • He died on February 27, 2003.
  • He was red-green colorblind.
  • Before launching a career on television, he was a Presbyterian minister.
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired on February 19, 1968.
  • The final episode aired on August 31, 2001.
  • Remember his iconic sweaters? His mother knitted all of them.
  • One of his sweaters hangs in the Smithsonian Institution.
  • The first time he saw television, he hated it. He said all he saw were angry people, so he promised he would use it to make the world a better place.
  • [Related: Won't you be his neighbor? Tom Hanks to play Mister Rogers]
  • He was a vegetarian.
  • He was bullied as a child.
  • He began playing the piano at age five. He also wrote all the songs on the show.
  • He convinced the Supreme Court that using a VHS to record shows on TV shouldn’t be copyright infringement. His argument? It was a great opportunity for parents who worked to sit down and watch wholesome TV as a family.
  • He was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2002.
  • His wife, Joanne, was at his side when he died in their home in Pittsburgh.

Fred Rogers was so much more than a TV icon. He also had a unique, gentle worldview, which can be seen in his quotes that still inspire all of us to try to make the world a better place.

[Related: That time everyone forgot Mr. Rogers saved public television]

Quotes From Mister Rogers:

"When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'" - Fred Rogers

“Love isn't a state of perfect caring. It is an active noun like struggle. To love someone is to strive to accept that person exactly the way he or she is, right here and now.” - Fred Rogers

"It's not so much what we have in this life that matters. It's what we do with what we have. The alphabet is fine, but it's what we do with it that matters most. Making words like "friend," and "love." That's what really matters." - Fred Rogers

"Nobody else can live the life you live. And even though no human being is perfect, we always have the chance to bring what's unique about us to live in a redeeming way." - Fred Rogers

Very frankly, I am opposed to people being programmed by others. My whole approach in broadcasting has always been 'You are an important person just the way you are. You can make healthy decisions.' Maybe I'm going on too long, but I just feel that anything that allows a person to be more active in the control of his or her life, in a healthy way, is important. - Fred Rogers' testimony to the U.S District Court in 1979.


Information for this article was provided by Mental Floss, Good Housekeeping, and Biography.

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