KERA's Legacy Society is named after Dallas businessman, civic leader, and philanthropist Ralph B. Rogers. In 1968, Mr. Rogers stepped in to help Dallas' Channel 13 - KERA, which at that time was operating as a local instructional TV station for Dallas ISD. Two years later, he joined together 200 local stations nationwide to form the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). His efforts in creating and sustaining public television led to his being named the first chairman of PBS, a position he held from 1974-1979. In the late 1960s, he would become a founding trustee of the Children's Television Workshop (CTW), the original producer of Sesame Street. Mr. Rogers also created the Sesame Street Preschool Educational Program (PEP), and in 1990, spearheaded KERA's role as the pilot program of Sesame Street PEP for public television stations nationwide. Rogers is credited with helping to save PBS when—despite President Nixon's attempts to defund public broadcasting—he helped persuade Congress to increase its funding of public television to $150 million. Mr. Rogers served as the chairman of KERA from 1968-1981. For his contributions to public media, KERA, and the Dallas community in general, KERA is proud to name its Legacy Society after a man whose own legacy is a story of dedication, vision and service—not only to Dallas and to Texas, but to national television.
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