"You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are."

Beginnings

From the earliest days of his career, Fred Rogers was a man with a mission. His constant goal was to communicate to families, and to encourage communication within families, about the important human issues involved in healthful emotional, social, and cognitive development.

Early Years - Fred Rogers in the Children's Corn
Fred Rogers and Josie Carey (with King Friday XIII) on the set of "The Children's Corner" a children's television seres they began in 1954.

Fred was uniquely qualified to achieve that goal. His education included extensive training at Pittsburgh’s renowned Arsenal Family and Children’s Center, founded by Dr. Benjamin Spock, Dr. Erik Erikson, and Dr. Margaret McFarland. From the beginning, Fred made sure that his staff included people with expertise in child development as well as media.

Soon after Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood began airing nationally, Fred Rogers was invited to testify during the Senate Hearings on Public Television. During those 1969 hearings, Senators and spectators alike were captivated as Fred spoke eloquently about the significant difference quality television could make in the lives of children. Many people say that Fred’s quiet passion during the hearings was responsible for saving the young institution of public television.

MisterRogers’ Neighborhood, which began airing nationally in 1968, led the way in showing how television can deal honestly and effectively with significant developmental and psychological issues. Research shows that children who watch the program benefit in major ways.

In 1971, Fred founded Family Communications, Inc., as the program’s production company.

Early on, Fred and his staff recognized needs outside the scope of “the Neighborhood”: parents dealing with challenging situations… children facing issues like illness… and professionals wanting to make their work with children even more valuable.

Today, The Fred Rogers Company continues to work on those parallel efforts: the company supports the PBS broadcast of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood—while continually expanding its other initiatives for children, families, and those who work with them.

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