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September 3, 2015

Mister Rogers ... military sniper?

by Richard Keller, posted Apr 8th 2006 11:05AM

Expert marksman Mr. RogersYou know, this would answer so many questions as to why Fred Rogers, host of the legendary Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, was the quiet, personable man we saw on television every day; deep down inside he was a skilled Marine sniper and he needed the calm persona to hide his honed killing skills.

However, this is all urban legend. The rumors began in the early 1990's when Rogers' military exploits became a hot topic on the Internet. At first he was a Marine sniper with nearly 40 kills during the Korean conflict of the 1950's. As the decade wore on he became a Vietnam vet with tattoos all over his arms (hence the sweaters and long sleeve shirts). By the time of his death in 2003 Fred Rogers was no longer a Marine sniper, but a Navy Seal with over 25 kills in Vietnam.

In reality Mr. Rogers never served any time in the military. In fact, after graduating from college in 1951 Rogers embarked on a nearly uninterrupted broadcasting career that lasted over 50 years and became an ordained minister in 1962.

As for his dealings with the mafia and his involvement with the Kennedy assassination . . . Well, that's a story for another day.

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There is a very famous Marine sniper by the name of Carlos Hathcock. He has 93 confirmed kills in Vietnam and some say he was the best sniper because of the nature of his missions, which include crawling through the grass for days deep into enemy territory and almost getting stepped on by patrols just to take out his targets. In his later years some of Mr. Hathcock's Portraits kind of resemble some of Mr. Roger's portraits. This is where the confusion started. Mr. Hathcock was a good hearted person and always smiled which showed in his photos. He stated that he never enjoyed taking human life but if he didn't take out his targets, for example a French interrogator who made a living torturing downed pilots to death, a whole lot more people would be killed. Most of Mr. Rogers photos also show him smiling, and the two men do have a similar smile. So this is where the rumor got started and some people still see certain photos of Mr. Hathcock and say, "Hey that's Mr. Rogers!!".. haa haa.

January 23 2013 at 2:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Also, Mr Rogers wasn't actually your neighbor.

April 10 2006 at 9:38 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Fred Rogers?!? People will believe anything.

We all know that it was John Denver who was the highly decorated sniper during the Vietnam War.

I remember when I was deployed to Bosnia, we would get bored during the night. Since we had free long distance, some guys from my unit found the phone number for John Denver's publicist and called it. His agent, of course, denied that the folk singer was ever in the military.

April 09 2006 at 11:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think it is ridiculous to try and taint such a wonderful mans persona. I guess some people simply cannot believe that there are actually some inherently good people.

April 09 2006 at 8:18 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Why would anyone want to start a rumor about Mr. Rogers? I used to watch Mr. Rogers on TV when I was a child. Good Show :)

April 08 2006 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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