James Byrd Rogers is best known as the son of legendary TV host and puppeteer, Fred Rogers. Unlike modern-day kids who would do their best to maintain the fame they got through their parents, James moved in the opposite direction and went completely in pursuit of a different career. He chose to define his own path and follow it. Read on to know more about the son of the popular TV host.
James was Raised Alongside His Brother By Their Parents
James Bryd Rogers, fondly called Jim, was born to Fred and Joanne in 1959. The young man and his younger brother, John Rogers, grew up with their parents, and they both appeared on their father’s show when they were young. They continued to share the screen with their father as they grew older. Jim would go on to attend Rollins College, his father’s alma mater, in a bid to take after him.
Along the line, James realized he needed some time to himself, away from family, to decide what he really wanted out of his life. He wanted to know who he was outside of his father’s influence. This led him to stay away from home and it gave his parents a lot of concern. However, they allowed him to have his way and wished only the best for him.
Unlike Jim, his brother John chose to spend more time at home while his older brother stayed away. John would travel forty miles a day from prep school to be with his parents. Also, James often got into trouble while John was a good kid. Regardless of their different personalities, their parents loved them both. Another thing Fred loved very much aside from his kids was his job as a TV host and Puppeteer.
James Bryd Rogers Sought a Different Career From TV
James, who had taken time early in life to discover himself outside of his father’s image, found a life for himself away from the TV screen. He has since lived a very private life and even the advent of social media was not tempting enough to bring him out of his shell. As a result, there are no details about his career or how successful he is at it. He is not found on any social media platform.
However, somewhere along the line, in 1989, James Bryd Rogers reappeared on his father’s show with his own son, who is identified as Alexander. Again, in 2018, he and his younger brother John featured in a documentary about their father titled ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ Aside from these appearances, the rest of James’ life is completely not known to the public.
The Family Life of James Byrd Rogers
As mentioned earlier, James has a son named Alexander, but there are no details about his wife or any other child(ren) he may have. In contrast to his brother who makes the headlines for domestic violence, James has done well to stay away completely from the news, be it for good or bad reasons. Up to this time, James still stays under the radar and although it is hard to tell whether he is doing as good as his father, he seems to be doing well for himself in his own way.
How James Byrd Rogers’ Father Made His Family Famous with Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
Fred Rogers’ dream of becoming a content creator for kids started while he was still in senior college studying music. The young man returned from Rollins College one day to see new technology in their living room. He was instantly inspired to use the medium to serve children and fulfill his purpose.
To this end, he started a career as an assistant floor manager of the music programs for NBC in New York City, after college. This was against his initial plan of furthering his studies in theology. Later in 1953, the strong-willed young man went back to Pittsburgh where he grew up and helped in founding WQED, the first community-supported educational television station in the country. Following this development, he became the program manager for the station. At the same time, he worked as the co-producer, puppeteer, and organist on ‘The Children’s Corner’, a kid’s show that aired from 1954 to 1962 on WQED.
Having established his place in the kid’s entertainment industry, Fred thought the right time had come for him to pursue his long suspended career in theology. While at it, he attended the seminary during his lunch hours and was then ordained to serve children and families through television. Although he was the kind of person that liked to live a private life, his new achievements were gradually leading him to the spotlight.
After working behind the scenes for a long time, he was eventually able to meet his young viewers in person and talk directly with them as Mister Rogers. This happened in Canada, in 1963 at the CBC. Later, Fred went back to Pittsburgh where he launched Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the TV show for which he became known. He launched the show in 1966, and the show made its debut in 1968. To further help his career and better his communication with the children, James Bryd Rogers’ father obtained graduate studies in Child Development and a degree in Divinity.
Throughout his career, Fred hosted 895 episodes of the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood show. He also composed 200 songs and as a puppeteer, he imagined 14 characters into being. This was the kind of life James Roger’s father lived, in addition to being a very good man. He was so good, his wife Joanne and second son John referred to him as a saint and true Christian. John tried to imitate him but thought his father’s shoes were too big for him to fit in. James Byrd Rogers seemed like the only person in the family who did not find their father’s life so fascinating.