Born in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh, Rogers earned a bachelor's degree in music from Rollins College in 1951. He then began working in television, initially at NBC in New York. He returned to Pittsburgh in 1953 to work for children's programming at NET (later PBS) television station WQED. Rogers graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1963, and attended the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Child Development, where he began his 30-year long collaboration with child psychologist Margaret McFarland. He worked off-camera helping produce the children's show The Children's Corner, and then in 1963, worked on the 15-minute, black-and-white Canadian children's show Misterogers, where he developed many of the characters, props, and sets he used later. In 1968 he returned to Pittsburgh to produce Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, which ran for almost 900 episodes, until 2001. The program emphasized the child's developing psyche, feelings, sense of moral and ethical reasoning, civility, tolerance, sharing, and self-worth. Difficult topics such as the death of a family pet, sibling rivalry, the addition of a newborn into families, moving and enrolling in a new school, and divorce were also addressed.