How Befriending Mister Rogers’ Widow Allowed Me to Learn the True Meaning of His Legacy

Fred Rogers proposed to Sara Joanne Byrd in a letter. A letter she lost almost immediately in a flurry of excitement as she rushed to a pay phone to give him her answer: “Yes, yes, yes!” Both 24, she just 11 days his senior, they were friends but not yet lovers. It was 1952 and they were in the midst of a long-distance courtship that began at Rollins College in Florida. She recalls being attracted to Fred, but they weren’t particularly physical with each other outside of the sorority and fraternity dances they attended together.

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