Mr. Rodgers and the Sniper Story

| November 19, 2019

The folks at published an article explaining how the “sniper story” started on Fred Rodgers.

Rogers is the subject of a movie staring Tom Hanks and the screenwriters of A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood nailed down where the story started.

The rumor that Rogers was not a sniper was proven false when someone saw him naked.  Yes, that’s right, when they saw him naked.

You may wonder what nudity has to do with being a sniper. As Junod explains, the “Mister Rogers was a sniper” urban myth was predicated on the idea that Rogers always wore long-sleeve sweaters to conceal tattoos that tallied his many kills.

So, how did the rumor that he was a sniper get started?  Screenwriters Harpster and Fitzerman-Blue explained…

Harpster revealed that in a decade of research on Rogers, he and Fitzerman-Blue learned the source of the urban myth. It turns out there was another Fred Rogers.

“So there was actually a guy named Fred Rogers, who was a marine, who was a sharpshooter, who started a security business. And he for a moment put up as his business,” Harpster said. “And it was almost immediately taken down. But people found that.”

Category: Politics

Comments (45)

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  1. David says:

    There are so few Fred Rogers in the world, it’s a natural mistake. Guess Mr. Rogers, my science teacher at West Ladue, wasn’t the right Mr. Rogers either?

    Have to say one thing for some of the more ‘picturesque’ names we see here, they are unique.

  2. 5th/77th FA says:

    1/2 dozen guys named Fred Rogers showing up on MP in…

    It WAS Freddie taking pot shots at dasHidabeast. He was trying to make it a beautiful day in the neighborhood.

  3. SFC D says:

    I’m mot buying it. I remember hearing the “Mr. Rogers was a sniper story” sometime around 1981. I’m no computer wizard, but I’m fairly certain wasn’t around yet.

    That was about the same time that the “John Denver was a sniper” story was circulating, and “sunshine on my shoulder makes me happy” was about his rifle.

  4. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    One true fact about Fred Rogers is that he was also an ordained Presbyterian Minister.

  5. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    (Singing softly) Its a beautiful in the neighborhood

    (Softer…) A beautiful day for a sniper….



    (Louder) Won’t you be my neighbor…..

    Nah. But can you imagine the Eddie Murphy “Mr Robinson’s Neighborhood” version?

    • FuzeVT says:

      This is how we answer the door in Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood. . .

      WHO IS IT!!!

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        “walk into your mama’s room and say ‘B####’. I’ll wait”

        “Did she hit you? Good. You said it right”


        “Don’t mess with chemicals you don’t understand. Can you say ‘Richard Pryor’?”


        Too funny! And not at all PC anymore.

  6. SSG Kane says:

    No discussions of Mr. Rogers is complete without a mention of his epic rap battle with Mr T:

  7. Perry Gaskill says:

    At one time I was a regular reader of Info World which had a column by Robert X. Cringely. As it happened, Cringely knew Fred Rogers and said Rogers was pretty much the same off-camera as on. He also said, if memory serves, you might think such a personality would be annoying when talking to an adult, but Rogers wasn’t like that at all. He was just a really nice guy in the old-school sense of being a gentleman.

    Children’s television has always been a strange space. Having my daughters watch Fred Rogers never bothered me. I think the kids show which took the grand prize for being most annoying was Barney the Dinosaur. Those who have been around computers awhile might remember the old days of UseNet, a sort of a precursor to Twitter. At one time, there was an entire UseNet group devoted to ragging on Barney. The title was:


  8. Stacy0311 says:

    Captain Kangaroo was a Marine and Mr. Green Jeans was a SEAL…..

    • MK75Gunner says:

      I don’t know about Mr. Green Jeans but Capt Kangaroo, Bob Keeshan was a Marine, but was in the US in ’45 when Japan surrendered.

      • Combat Historian says:

        The hot scuttlebutt was that Lee Marvin and Captain Kangaroo served in the same Marine outfit together during the invasion of Iwo Jima in Feb 45. The truth was that Lee Marvin participated in the invasion of Saipan in June 44 and was wounded there and evac’ed to a naval hospital for recovery and had no role in the Iwo Jima battle. Captain Kangaroo meanwhile did not enlist in the Marines until April 1945 and so was slated to invade Japan but the war ended before that happened. Bottom line is that Lee Marvin and Captain Kangaroo never served together on Iwo Jima…

        • SFC D says:

          Didn’t Lee Marvin tell Johnny Carson that Captain Kangaroo carried him off the battlefield? Or is that just another chapter in that urban legend?

  9. GDContractor says:

    From original post above:

    “The rumor that Rogers was not a sniper was proven false when […]”

    So he WAS a sniper?

    //Geez, I’m not even a lawer.

  10. Mick says:

    Mr. Rogers was a sniper?

    OK; sure. Why not?

    Former ‘Gong Show’ host Chuck Barris went around claiming to be a CIA assassin, so why couldn’t Mr. Rogers be a sniper?

    ‘Chuck Barris, host of ‘The Gong Show’ who wildly claimed to be a CIA assassin, dead at 87’

  11. All I can say is Roger that on all the comments.

  12. Comm Center Rat says:

    Another rumor I heard is Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, IN was a trigger puller for 7 months in AFG while deployed as a US Navy reservist. Apparently, he performed 119 “missions” as a Uber Military driver while “outside the wire.” Pete’s hoping to parlay his career as a “highly decorated” warrior into a four year residency at the White House. Reportedly, he said “politics makes strange bedfellows.”

    • 5th/77th FA says:

      Another rumor I heard is Pete Buttigieg, the Mayor of South Bend, IN was a peter puffer for 7 months being gay when he was aweigh. Apparently, he performed 119 blow jobs while he was on his knees. Pete’s hoping to parlay his career as an Apprentice Towel Fluffer into a full time gig as the Entrance in the Rear at Brucie’s Bath House. Reportedly, he makes strange politics with fellows in bed.


      • Anonymous says:

        Not to mention that he is sorely missed at Key Leader Engagements on ManLove Thursday around Afghanistan…

      • Comm Center Rat says:

        5/77 The rumor you heard is probably closest to the truth. It never ceases to amaze me what qualifies as “missions” in our long war in AFG!

  13. Kirk says:

    Yeah… No. This was a story I was hearing back before anyone had even named the internet, like in 1983 or so. My first assignment at Fort Sill, I heard this story from a guy coming to us from Fort Bragg and the 82nd Airborne, where he’d gone to one of the sniper courses. I don’t know which one, but he had a training certificate, and he claimed to have been told about Mr. Rogers during instruction, and that he’d seen his name up on a wall somewhere.

    So, the “Urban Legend” aspect here goes back to before anyone could have seen a website created by another Fred Rogers.

    If I had to guess, someone probably saw the name “Fred Rogers” and just assumed it was the same guy, building from there.

    Supposedly, though, it was something the instructors told my informant, but who the hell knows where these things get started? It’s like the “Mattel made my M16 …” deal; you know damn well it’s BS and wrong, but try stamping out that little bit of RUMINT, and you’ll spend the rest of your life futilely presenting evidence to the contrary, and never changing anyone’s mind about it.

    I had a guy who claimed his “Uncle Ed” had been given an M16 in Vietnam that said “Mattel”; Uncle Ed showed up to visit his nephew, and I made a point of asking him. Uncle Ed says he never said anything of the kind, ever, and never saw such a thing in his life. I’m looking at his nephew, vindicated.

    A couple of months later, what do I overhear him telling someone…? All about Uncle Ed, and his Mattel M16.

    You can’t kill this stuff, I’m telling you. It has a life of its own. I bet money someone is going to be writing a dissertation refuting the whole story about Mr. Rogers and his sniper career a hundred years from now, and they’re gonna have a hell of a time doing it. You can’t prove a negative, and they’re going to have thousands of cites claiming he did serve as one, and with the questionable quality of military personnel records…? Yeah. Good luck.