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Andy Rooney was an Emmy Award-winning journalist best known for his "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" segments which aired on the CBS news program 60 Minutes.
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Andy Rooney was born on January 14, 1919, in Albany, New York. During WWII, he wrote for the Army's Stars and Stripes newspaper and was one of the first American journalists to visit and write about the German concentration camps. Rooney joined the staff of CBS' 60 Minutes in 1968 and began his iconic "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney" segment in 1978. Rooney's final 60 Minutes essay aired in October, 2011. He died a month later at age 92.
Writer, correspondent and producer Andy Rooney was born January 14, 1919, in Albany, New York, as Andrew Aitken Rooney, the son of Walter Scott Rooney and Ellinor Reynolds Rooney. Rooney attended the Albany Academy, an independent college-preparatory day school, and later Colgate University in upstate New York. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941, and began writing for the Stars and Stripes in London a year later. In 1943, he was one of seven correspondents who flew on the second American bombing raid over Germany, and later was one of the first American journalists to visit and write about the German concentration camps. Later, Rooney would comment on how the war had a profound effect on shaping his experience as a writer and reporter.
Andy Rooney joined CBS (the Columbia Broadcasting System) in 1949 as a writer for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, which was a hit on radio and television, reaching No. 1 in the television ratings in 1952. From 1959 to 1965, he wrote for The Garry Moore Show, which also became a hit TV program for CBS. During this time Rooney began focusing more on serious writing, penning pieces for CBS News public affairs programs such as The 20th Century. In 1968, he joined the staff of the new CBS current affairs program 60 Minutes, working as a producer for Harry Reasoner during the show's first few seasons. He also wrote two CBS News specials that year as part of the series Of Black America. One of them, the segment "Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed," won him his first Emmy Award. It was during this time that Rooney also won his third Writers Guild Award, for his work on the news special "An Essay on War." But CBS was not pleased with the controversial, morally questioning piece, and Rooney resigned from CBS when the network refused to air the special. The program was later broadcast on PBS's The Great American Dream Machine, and Rooney headed to ABC, teaming up with Harry Reasoner to create an award-winning series of television essays.
Rooney returned to CBS in 1972, again working for 60 Minutes. He also wrote, produced and narrated a series of broadcasts for CBS News on various aspects of America and American life, including "Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington," for which he won a Peabody Award in 1975. In 1978, Rooney would become a Sunday night TV staple when he put together a segment for the conclusion of 60 Minutes, entitled "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney." In Rooney's short commentary, the writer sat behind a walnut desk, which he built himself, and offered a satirical (some might say "grumpy"; others would say "blunt") view of trivial, everyday themes ranging from umbrellas and current events to shoelaces and salad dressing.
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