Name at birth: Andrew Aiken Rooney
Andy Rooney's funny and grumpy essays about desk drawers, bottled water and other bricabrac of daily life made him a TV icon of the late 20th century. His comments ended the popular CBS news magazine 60 Minutes for over 30 years until just before his death in 2011. Andy Rooney was born in Albany, New York and attended Colgate University, but he was drafted into the U.S. Army during his junior year. During World War II he was a correspondent for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes, even flying in bombing missions over Germany. (His first book, Air Gunner, came out in 1944 while the war was still going on.) After the war, Rooney was a freelance writer until he was hired by CBS in 1949 as a writer for the TV show Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. Later he wrote for programs like The Morning News with Will Rogers, Jr. (starting 1957) and The Garry Moore Show (starting 1959), but in the 1960s he moved into the CBS News department, first writing for public affairs programs and then creating essays for Harry Reasoner on topics like doors, hotels, and bridges. That eventually led to his signature gig on 60 Minutes, which began on July 2, 1978 with a video essay on the grim holiday news tradition of highway death tallies. Eventually known as "A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney," the weekly feature was a big hit with fans and became the final segment of nearly every 60 Minutes show. Rooney created 1097 of the essays over three decades before stepping down with a final appearance on October 2, 2011. He died a few weeks later of complications from minor surgery. Andy Rooney also wrote 16 books, including A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney (1981), My War (1995) and Common Nonsense (2002).
Andy Rooney married the former Marguerite Howard in 1942. They were married for 62 years until her death in 2004. They had four children: Ellen, Brian, and twins Emily and Martha. Brian Rooney was a longtime correspondent for ABC News, and Emily became host of the long-running show Greater Boston… Andy Rooney was good friends with Walter Cronkite, a fellow World War II correspondent who later was the anchor of TheCBS Evening News.