Anyone who was ever a 60 Minutes fan knows the wit of Andy Rooney. For decades Andy’s 3 minutes at the end of the show alternately amused and pissed off his listeners with wit, a sense of the absurd, and his ordinary guy persona.
Legendary CBS News commentator Andy Rooney, known to millions for his witty essays on mundane topics, died Friday night in New York. He was 92.
He had been hospitalized after suffering complications following minor surgery last month.
“It’s a sad day at ’60 Minutes’ and for everybody here at CBS News,” said Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of ’60 Minutes.’ “It’s hard to imagine not having Andy around. He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much.”
Rooney made his last regular weekly appearance on “60 Minutes” on Oct. 2. A few weeks later, CBS announced he was in a hospital.
Rooney’s colleague and longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent Morley Safer told CNN Saturday that Rooney worked to the very end and that he would not have wanted it any other way.
“That’s the way to go,” Safer said. “The only thing better than three weeks would have been three minutes.”
Correspondent Steve Kroft reflected on the length of Rooney’s storied career.
“What a life: ninety-two years of doing what you love to do while engaging and entertaining millions and millions of people,” he said.
And Lesley Stahl, also Rooney’s colleague on the show, called him “our poet laureate.”
“He was the Oracle of West 57th Street, an everyman if everyman wrote like a dream,” she said. “He was the most popular member of our team, loved by the audience, and far more loved by all of us than he knew.”
Rooney got his start in journalism as a writer in the Army and went on to spend nearly six decades at CBS, half behind the camera as a writer and producer and then as an on-air commentator in 1978 when he joined “60 Minutes.” His commentaries earned him the title King of Grouch.
On looking for a job, he said: “We need people who can actually do things. We have too many bosses and too few workers. More college graduates ought to become plumbers or electricians, then go home at night and read Shakespeare.”