Children's TV Host Fred Rogers He died of stomach cancer on February 27, 2003, at the age of 74. His popular show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, was the longest-running program on public television. It ended in 2001 after 33 years on the air. Last year, Rogers was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the nation can bestow. This interview first aired November 13, 2002.