Maxwell King’s The Good Neighbor is a comprehensive biography of Fred Rogers, the beloved host of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. King paints a vivid portrait of a man who was dedicated to embodying and exemplifying the very ideals he strove to instill in others — especially children. Recommended By Jeremy G., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
The first — and definitive — biography of Fred Rogers, children’s television pioneer and American cultural icon.
Fred Rogers (1928-2003) was an enormously influential figure in the history of television and in the lives of tens of millions of children. As the creator and star of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he was a champion of compassion, equality, and kindness. Rogers was fiercely devoted to children and to taking their fears, concerns, and questions about the world seriously.
The Good Neighbor, the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers, tells the story of this utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents, Maxwell King traces Rogers's personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work, including a surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, TheGoodNeighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.
“Mere pages into this beautiful account, tears began to roll down my cheeks as my heart remembered the kind and gentle manner of Mr. Rogers. Deeply researched, Maxwell King’s biography brings Rogers to life in small moments recalled by those who knew him best. Through a meticulous unspooling of his childhood, we learn why Fred Rogers — a child born into extreme wealth who could have done anything or nothing with his life — wound up of all things a child whisperer, a seer of the human heart, a builder of bridges constructed of unconditional love and acceptance. Reading King’s narrative, one cannot help but long for a time when children spent their afternoons watching Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; one cannot help but sense that what we all need right now is an infusion of Fred Rogers’ enduring teachings back onto our airwaves and into our America.” Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult
“As the extreme importance of our most gifted teachers, and the credit they are due, become ever more evident, Maxwell King has provided a superb, thoughtful biography of the brilliant Fred Rogers, who with his long-running television show, reached more children than any teacher ever. The enormous amount of thought, creative talent, and hard work that Rogers put into every aspect of the show becomes abundantly clear in this book, as do the lessons in empathy and kindness that he took so to heart. Much there is for all of us to learn in Maxwell King’s The Good Neighbor.” David McCullough
“In King’s [The Good Neighbor] … the inimitable Mister Rogers becomes somehow even more enchanting. In addition to elegantly narrating the facts of Rogers’ life… King’s book brims with anecdotes of intimate exchanges that highlight Rogers’ kindness and grace.” Booklist
About the Author
Maxwell King is the CEO of the Pittsburgh Foundation. After a career in journalism, including eight years as editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer, King served as president of the Pittsburgh-based Heinz Endowments for nearly a decade.