Best Known For
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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The short clips aired each week as a summer replacement for the debate segment "Point/Counterpoint" featuring Shana Alexander and James Kilpatrick, but the segment became a hit with viewers, and replaced "Point/Counterpoint" the end of the 1978–1979 season. Rooney's unique essays also won him Emmy Awards in 1979, 1981 and 1982. With his beetled brow, sour humor and curmudgeonly outlook on life, Rooney's 60 Minutes essays became a Sunday-night ritual for many Americans.
Yet Rooney's career has not been without controversy. In 1990, he was suspended for three months after remarking that too much alcohol, food, drugs, cigarettes and homosexual unions lead to a premature death. He was reinstated just four weeks later, after 60 Minutes' ratings had fallen 20 percent. Rooney has also been accused of making racist remarks. He commented that he thought it was "silly" for Native Americans to complain about team mascot names like the Washington Redskins because they're angry their country was taken away from them. He also commented on how names like Rodriguez are more common among baseball stars today than more familiar names, like Ruth and Gehrig. However, in the 1940s, he was arrested for sitting in the back of a segregated bus in protest, and in 2008 he applauded the election of Barack Obama as president of the United States "simply because [American citizens] thought he was the best choice."
Rooney continues to appear each week on 60 Minutes and, in 2003, he snagged an Emmy award for Lifetime Acheivement. He also writes a regular column for Tribune Media Services that runs in more than 200 papers country-wide.
In 2004, Andy Rooney's wife of 62 years, Marguerite "Margie" Rooney, died of heart failure. Rooney grieved deeply at the loss of his wife. Since her passing, he has not written about her, saying that to write her name is just too painful. He has four children: Brian, 58, is an ABC News West Coast correspondent; Emily, 59, hosts a public television talk show in Boston; Emily's twin, Martha, works at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland; and Ellen, 62, is a photographer in London. Rooney also enjoys two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He has written, "It seems to me that grandfathers are a lot younger than they used to be before I got to be one."
Rooney retired from his weekly commentary work on 60 Minutes in October 2011. He announced his plans to produce only occasional pieces for the show after he completed his 1,097th essay for the news program.
A month later, on November 4, 2011, after suffering health complications from a minor surgery at a New York hospital, Rooney died. He was 92 years old.
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