Mr. Rogers’s Widow Has Come Forward With New Details About His Private Life
When we were growing up, we looked forward to watching “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” every day. There was something calming and mesmerizing about how Mister Rogers would change into a sweater and sing the same song. We loved the Land of Make Believe, and we now enjoy it again with our own kids in the modern version called “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”
We didn’t realize it at the time, but we were learning important lessons while we watched “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” Fred Rogers had a graceful way of tackling difficult subject matter. Subjects like death, discrimination and 9-11 were not too difficult for him to cover in a way that children could understand.
Not everyone knew that Fred Rogers was good friends with Yo-Yo Ma. Perhaps it was his relationship with the famous cellist that inspired Yo-Yo Ma’s son, Nicholas Ma, to produce the recent documentary about Fred Rogers called “Won’t You Be My Neighbor.” Nicholas Ma even appeared on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” when he was a child and again later as a teenager.
Fred Rogers passed away in 2003, but in order to produce the documentary, Nicholas Ma needed the blessing of Fred’s widow, Joanne Rogers. Recently, Ma and Rogers sat down with Megyn Kelly on “Today” to discuss Fred’s life and the recent documentary.
Kelly didn’t try to hide what a big fan she was of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood.” She says, “I can’t believe I’m sitting next to Trolley.”
We’d feel the same way!
The interview was filmed at 30 Rock, and that location has great meaning for Mrs. Rogers. She shares how when she was in college and Fred was working at 30 Rock, he wrote her a letter that changed both of their lives forever.
Rogers also shares that Daniel Tiger was Fred’s favorite out of all the puppets and that Fred used Daniel Tiger to communicate for him in a very special way.
During the interview, Ma, Rogers and Kelly discuss how Fred always knew just what to say to children about difficult situations and current events. Kelly didn’t shy away from asking Rogers difficult questions like “What do you think he’d have to say now because you look around America and we’re so divided and people seem to have taken a step away from love and kindness.”
To see how Joanne Rogers answered these questions and to here her reminisce about her beloved Fred, watch the interview with Megyn Kelly below.
Did you watch the show “Mister Rogers Neighborhood”? Have the seen the documentary “Won’t You Be My Neighbor”?