Fred Rogers wife, Mrs. Joanne Rogers, left, visits with Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris in front of a giant Mister Rogers Forever Stamp following the first-day-of-issue dedication in WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio in Pittsburgh, Friday, March 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Fred Rogers wife, Mrs. Joanne Rogers, left, visits with Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris in front of a giant Mister Rogers Forever Stamp following the first-day-of-issue dedication in WQED’s Fred Rogers Studio in Pittsburgh, Friday, March 23, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

US Postal Service unveils Mister Rogers postage stamp

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service on Friday released a stamp featuring Fred Rogers, the gentle TV host who entertained and educated generations of preschoolers on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

The “forever” stamp pictures Rogers in his trademark cardigan along with King Friday, a puppet character from the show’s Neighborhood of Make-Believe sketch.

Postal officials held a dedication ceremony at the Pittsburgh studio where Rogers filmed his beloved PBS show, which aired between 1968 and 2001. Rogers died in 2003 at age 74. Among those attending the ceremony were Rogers’ widow, Joanne, and David Newell, who played Mr. McFeely, the deliveryman on “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

“Mister Rogers made the ups and downs of life easier to understand for the youngest members of our society,” Postmaster General Megan Brennan said at the unveiling. “He shaped generations with his kindness and compassion.”

Noting the stamp has the words “Forever USA,” Brennan said “these words of the Postal Service are our way of saying Mr. Rogers represents the best of America and will do so always.”

Paul Siefken, president and CEO of the Fred Rogers Company, said he couldn’t think of “a better tribute to Fred and his legacy” than issuing a stamp in his honour, noting that Rogers loved writing letters, especially to young children who wrote to him about his show.

“Fred Rogers left an indelible mark on generations of young audiences through his groundbreaking series, and his timeless wisdom and important messages of inclusion and neighbourliness remain just as relevant today as they were 50 years ago,” Siefken said.

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