As he reflects on his career today, this TV giant remains humble. "You don't set out to be rich or famous. What you set out to do is to be helpful," he told Nightline during a recent interview in Pittsburgh. "If the other comes along with it, that's OK. But that's not what you set out to be."
Kids knew Rogers as a neighbor to whom they could always turn. From the anxiety that comes with the first day of school, to the death of a pet, the trauma of divorce, even global conflict, the Neighborhood has been there. A few years ago, he worked on public service announcements to help families understand the Gulf War.
"I've always thought of myself as a neighbor," he says, "an uncle that came to visit and that just said, 'Hey, let's spend a half an hour together,' you know, 'I accept you exactly as you are. Let's just have some time together.'"
Nightline correspondent John Donvan interviewed Fred Rogers and members of the Mister Rogers' Neighborhood production team for a program that was aired Friday, July 13.