How Mister Rogers' Life of Quiet Grace Turned Him Into an Unlikely Pop Culture Hero 16 Years After His Death

E! Online | 2/9/2019 | Staff
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For the three decades it was on the air—with only a brief gap from 1976 to 1979 due to another funding issue, the show broadcast its last episode in 2001, Rogers never wavered in his sincere and simplistic approach. He eschewed the "bombardment" he saw coming from other children's programming, with their frenetic pacing and animation, favoring an unhurried pace. He wrote every script, composed every song. And he never dared shy away from complex social issues or real-world tragedies.

In the first year of the show's national run, he rushed a special to air only two days after the assassination of presidential candidate Robert Kennedy. "His funeral was televised nationally on Saturday and [Rogers] said, 'We have to get...
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