The first time he turned on a television, he saw people angrily throwing pies in each other's faces. He immediately vowed to use the medium for something greater. Over the years, Mr Rogers covered topics as varied as divorce, war, love, and why kids shouldn't be scared of haircuts or bathroom drains.
Mister Rogers seems to have been almost exactly the same off-screen as he was onscreen. He preached tolerance first, and was a man who genuinely cared about others. Unlike on most children's programs, Mr. Rogers played himself not just in name, but also in personality and mannerisms, changing nothing about how he acted off camera to how he acted on camera. His reasons for this were that: "One of the greatest gifts you can give anybody is the gift of your honest self. I also believe that kids can spot a phony a mile away."
Mr Rogers was also a vegetarian. He didn't smoke or drink or seem to have any major vices. He also stayed married to the same woman until his death; their marriage lasted 47 years.
Every sweater worn by Mr. Rogers in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood was hand-knit by his mother.
And most people have heard of Koko - the Stanford educated gorilla who could speak about 1000 words in American Sign Language, and understand about 2000 in English. What most people don't know is that Koko was an avid Mister Rogers' Neighborhood fan. As Esquire reported, when Fred Rogers took a trip out to meet Koko for his show, not only did she immediately wrap her arms around him and embrace him, she did what she'd always seen him do onscreen: she proceeded to take his shoes off!
Mr. Rogers made a point of mentioning out loud when he was feeding his fish on his show after he got a letter from a family whose blind daughter asked him to do so, because she couldn't tell if the fish were being fed.
He left us with this in his "Good Bye" episode.