Joanne Rogers, widow of TV’s famed Mister Rogers and concert pianist, dies at 92

Joanne Rogers
Joanne Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers, died Thursday.
(Gene J. Puskar / Associated Press)

Joanne Rogers, the widow of Fred Rogers and an accomplished concert pianist, has died. She was 92.

Rogers, who nurtured the memory and legacy of the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” after his 2003 death, died Thursday, according to the Fred Rogers Center. No cause of death was given.

Making the most of a beautiful day with Mrs. Rogers. At 91, Joanne Rogers tends to the legacy of her late husband, known to generations as Mister Rogers. But she doesn’t want him put on a pedestal, even with Tom Hanks playing him in a movie, and she tells a reporter why.

Nov. 26, 2019

Joanne and Fred Rogers were married for more than 50 years. Joanne, who had her own music career, “was a joyful and tender-hearted spirit, whose laughter and kindness will be deeply missed,” the Fred Rogers Center said in a Facebook post, calling her a “trusted anchor whose heart and wisdom have guided our work in service of Fred’s enduring legacy.”


After her husband’s death, Joanne helped develop the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at St. Vincent College in his hometown of Latrobe, Pa.

Born Sara Joanne Byrd in 1928, she met her future husband at Rollins College in Florida.