Andy Rooney, who was famous for his wry, wise and curmudgeonly commentaries on 60 Minutes, has died of complications followed a recent surgery on Friday in New York. He was 92.
The website of “60 Minutes” offers a selection of some of Andy Rooney's best pieces to honor him and in his memory. 1978, Andy's First Commentary; 1996, Andy's Eyebrows; 2005, Memorial Day Memories, and 2011, Andy's Last Commentary are in the list.
From 1978 on, Rooney has worked as a mainstay of “60 Minutes” for 33 years, and he announced he was ending his commentaries on 60 Minutes just last month.
In his three-minute segment “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” he was lively and impressive, mainly for his crankiness, scrutinizing the commonplace and his keen eye for social observation.
Rooney ended his work on 60 Minutes with a farewell essay My Lucky Life, which was his 1,097th televised commentary.
I wish I could do this forever, he said in the essay, I can't, though.
“He had no interest in retirement,” Rooney's daughter Emily told the Boston Globe, “he had no other hobbies. This was the only thing he cared about doing.”
Rooney wanted to keep working until the day he died, and he nearly got it - his left his work on Oct. 2, 2011.
At the 60 Minutes office, Rooney usually was one the first to arrive at office by 7:30 a. m., stayed in until 6 p.m., and he went to work even on weekends, his longtime producer at 60 Minutes, Susie Bieber, recounted.
“It’s hard to imagine not having Andy around,” Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and “60 Minutes” executive producer said. “He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much.”
“Words cannot adequately express Andy’s contribution to the world of journalism and the impact he made -- as a colleague and a friend -- upon everybody at CBS,” Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. president and CEO, said.
Rooney is a best-selling author as well, even though he refused to promote his books and made a point of not giving autographs.
“I spent 50 years of my life working to become well-known as a writer,” Rooney, who considered himself a writer rather than performer, wrote in his 1989 book “Not That You Asked …”
“I just have the feeling that I don’t owe anybody anything except writing as well as I am able,” he said in a 1989 Newsday interview.
However, he told the Albany Times Union in a 2001 profile, I'm pretty accurate about assessing my own writing ability … I'm very average. Hyper-normal, even, which is at the heart of my success.
Books by Rooney include “The Fortunes of War” (1962), “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney” (1981), “And More by Andy Rooney” (1982), “Pieces of My Mind” (1984), “Word for Word” (1986), “Sweet and Sour” (1992), “My War” (1995), “Sincerely, Andy Rooney” (1999), “Common Nonsense” (2002), “Years of Minutes” (2003), ‘Out of My Mind’’ (2006), and ‘’60 Years of Wisdom and Wit’’ (2009).
Before that, Rooney collaborated on three books --“Air Gunner” (1944), “The Story of Stars and Stripes” (1946), and “Conquerors’ Peace” (1947).
Here's a collection of philosophy on long life by Andy Rooney, who was born in Albany, N.Y., on Jan. 14, 1919:
If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.
I didn't get old on purpose, it just happened. If you're lucky, it could happen to you.
Don't rule out working with your hands. It does not preclude using your head.
Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don't need to be done.
Death is a distant rumor to the young.
Most of us end up with no more than five or six people who remember us. Teachers have thousands of people who remember them for the rest of their lives.