Andrew Aitken "Andy" Rooney, 1919 - 2011

portrait of Andy Rooney


Born: 14 January 1919, Albany, New York
Died: 4 November 2011, New York City

Andrew Aitken Rooney was born at Albany, New York on 14 January 1919. At Albany Academy a teacher told him he was a good writer, so he worked as a copy boy at The Knickerbocker News before going on to Colgate University where he played football and worked on the school paper. Drafted three months before Pearl Harbor, he talked his way into a position with Stars and Stripes which including working with Ernie Pyle and Walter Cronkite. He won a Bronze Star at Saint-Lo and was among the first into the Buchenwald concentration camp. Back in New York he shared an elevator with Arthur Godfrey and told the star that the problem with radio was bad writing, he was soon the main writer on Godfrey's show. He started writing for CBS, had a close working relationship with Harry Reasoner, and was one of the early writers for 60 Minutes. He never expected to be a television personality but his personal, offbeat, and often cranky closing words on the show, the first was in July 1978, turned out to be extremely popular. His comments occasionally landed him in hot water, he was suspended in 1990 for a slur against gays but ratings fell 20% and he was back in one month instead of three. He married Marguerite Howard in 1942, their 62-year marriage ended with her death in 2004. Rooney had perseverance, his time at CBS was also 62 years and his final commentary on 60 Minutes made a total of 1,097 over 33 years. He was 92 years old when he died on Friday, the result of complications following minor surgery.

Biography from Wikipedia and The New York Times obituary

Andy Rooney quotes:

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