Born January 14, 1919 in Albany New York, Rooney began his journalism career in the U.S. Army, where he wrote for the Stars & Stripes newspaper during World War II. He would join CBS in 1949 as a writer for a number of entertainment programs, including “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.” He wrote his first essay–a precursor to the sorts of essays he would write for “60 Minutes”–in 1964.
Rooney partnered with CBS correspondent Harry Reasoner to write and produce a number of commentaries from 1964-1968, and served as a producer on the first few seasons of “60 Minutes.” His “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” segment became a regular feature in 1978, and it remained a staple of the program until ending it in September.
Rooney has written a regular newspaper column for Tribune starting in 1979, and has also written 16 books. He received a lifetime achievement Emmy Ward from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in 2003.
In his final regular “60 Minutes” appearance, Rooney reflected on his career, and as he so often did in his commentaries, he explained his thoughts in a straightforward, concise manner.
“I’ve done a lot of complaining here, but of all the things I’ve complained about, I can’t complain about my life,” Rooney said.
He is survived by his four children, as well as his five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. His children include ABC News correspondent Brian Rooney and WGBH and former “ABC World News” EP Emily Rooney, and one of his grandchildren, Justin Fishel, is the Pentagon producer for Fox News Channel.