According to a biography published last
year, television personality Fred Rogers referred to himself as
Rogers, who died in 2003 at the age of
74, was best known as Mr. Rogers, the host of the preschool
television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, author
Maxwell King quotes Dr. William Hirsch, an openly gay friend of
Rogers, as saying that Rogers described himself as a five on a
sexuality scale of one to ten.
“Well, you know, I must be right
smack in the middle,” Rogers reportedly told Hirsch. “Because I
have found women attractive, and I have found men attractive.”
King also quotes Michael Horton, a
close friend who appeared as a voice of Neighborhood puppets,
as saying that people assumed that Rogers was gay.
“People don't say to me, 'Was he
gay,' but 'Isn't he gay?' To me, that's very revealing in a way,
because of how presumptuous people can be. In other words, 'Isn't he
gay?' sort of leads you to think that maybe Fred had a double life or
something,” Horton said.
“There was no double life,” King
wrote. “And without exception, close associates concluded that
Fred Rogers was absolutely faithful to his marriage vows.”
Rogers was married to Sara Joanne Byrd
for 51 years. They had two children.