1. He saved public television. In 1969 Mister Rogers went to Washington to protest the slashing of funds to public television, and his testimony was so persuasive that funding was not only secured but increased to$22 million per year.
2. He was colorblind. Not just metaphorically, literally. He could not make out the colors in a box of crayons, which is rather sad when you consider that ridiculously awesome trip to the Crayola factory.
3. He was a song writer. Nearly all of the songs on Mister Rogers Neighborhood were composed by Mister Rogers on his famous piano, along with hundreds of others that were never heard on the show.
4. He was a Preacher Man. Mister Rogers graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church in 1963.
5. He employed Batman. Michael Keaton, famous for playing Batman got his start in showbiz as a puppeteer and trolley operator on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.
6. He instilled honor among thieves. Mister Rogers drove an old Impala for years until the car was stolen and the police report was picked up by the local news…48 hours later the car was returned with a note that read, “If we’d known it was yours, we never would have taken it.”
7. He learned to golf with Arnold Palmer. Both natives of Latrobe, PA, Mister Rogers grew up taking lessons from professional golfer and country club grounds keeper, Deacon Palmer, along side Deacon’s son of the same age, Arnold.
8. He named his characters after family members. Lady Elaine (“the mischief maker”) was named for his younger sister Elaine, Mr. McFeeley the postman was named for his paternal grandfather Fred McFeeley, Queen Sara Saturday was named for his wife Sara Rogers, among others.
9. He was a Vegetarian. He told people “I don’t want to eat anything that has a mother.”
10. His Mama was crafty. Nearly all of Mister Rogers zip front cardigans were knitted by his mother, a “talented and resourceful” woman who took up knitting sweaters for injured soldiers in WWII.