The Peabody Award of Jurors honored The Fred Rogers Company with an Institutional Award for carrying on the legacy of its founder, Fred Rogers. In a statement, the Peabody Awards said the The Fred Rogers Company was honored “in recognition for carrying on the legacy of its eponymous founder, whose iconic children’s program debuted 50 years ago.”
The George Foster Peabody Award is the oldest major electronic media award in the United States, given to some of the most powerful and illuminating television, radio, and online media every year. The Fred Rogers Company is being awarded alongside such programs as HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Insecure, The Handmaid’s Tale, and A Series of Unfortunate Events.
Rogers, who died in 2003, won two Peabody Awards himself. The first for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in 1968, and the second in 1992 for personal recognition. The Fred Rogers Company, which was founded in 1971, continues its namesake’s tradition of excellence in children’s entertainment and is responsible for such programs as Peg + Cat and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
Through his calm explorations of subjects for children, and especially the ways he employed and taught kindness and empathy, Fred Rogers made Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood a staple in every family’s home. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood continues this legacy. A 2016 study even found that preschoolers who watch the show exhibited higher levels of empathy, self-efficacy, and emotional awareness.
This year marked the 50th anniversary of The Rogers Company and what would have been Rogers’ 90th birthday. And it’s a year of big events. On June 8th, a documentary about his life, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, will hit theaters. And Tom Hanks has signed on to play Rogers in an upcoming biopic titled You Are My Friend. The U.S. Postal Service also put Rogers on a Forever Stamp, an honor reserved for such luminaries as Elvis Presley, John F. Kennedy, Lena Horne, and George Washington.