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Andy Rooney Biography

Andrew Aitken "Andy" Rooney (January 14, 1919-November 4, 2011) was an American radio and television writer. He was most notable for his weekly broadcast "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney", a part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011. His final regular appearance on 60 Minutes aired October 2, 2011. Contents [hide] 1 Youth 2 CBS career 2.1 A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney 3 Views 3.1 Racial remarks 3.2 Suspension by CBS 3.3 Remarks on Kurt Cobain's suicide 4 Family life 5 Death 6 Awards 7 Books 8 See also 9 References 10 External links Youth Andrew Rooney was born in Albany, New York, the sonof Walter Scott Rooney(1888–1959) and Ellinor (née Reynolds) Rooney (1886–1980). He attended The Albany Academy, [2] and later attended Colgate University in Hamilton in Upstate New York, [3] where he was initiated into the Sigma Chi fraternity, until he was drafted into the U.S. Army in August 1941. Rooney began his career in newspapers while in the Army when, in 1942, he began writing for Stars and Stripes in London during World War II. [4] In February 1943, flying with the Eighth Air Force, he was one of six correspondents who flew on the first American bombing raid over Germany. [5] Later, he was one of the first American journalists to visit the Nazi concentration camps near the end of World War II, and one of the first to write about them. During a segment on Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation, Rooney confessed that he had been opposed to World War II because he was a pacifist. He recounted that what he saw in those concentration camps made him ashamed that he had opposed the war and permanently changed his opinions about whether"just wars" exist. In London, during the war, Mary Hemingway made an accusation of plagiarism against several fellow journalists, including Andy Rooney, although the accusations were proven false. [6] Rooney's 1995 memoir, My War, [5] chronicles his war reporting. In addition to recounting firsthand several notable historicalevents and people (including the entry into Paris and the Nazi concentration camps), Rooney describes how it shaped his experience both as a writer and reporter. CBS career Rooney joined CBS in 1949, as a writer for Arthur Godfrey's TalentScouts, [5] when Godfrey was at his peak on CBS radio and TV. It opened the show up to a variety of viewers. The program was a hit, reaching number one in 1952, during Rooney's tenure with the program. It was the beginning of a close life-long friendship between Rooney and Godfrey. He wrote for Godfrey's daytime radio and TV show Arthur Godfrey Time. He later moved on to The Garry Moore Show, [7] which became a hit program. During the same period, he wrote for CBS News public affairs programs such as The Twentieth Century. According to CBS News's biography of him, "Rooney wrote his first television essay, a longer-length precursor of the type he does on 60 Minutes, in 1964, 'An Essay on Doors.' [8] From 1962 to 1968, he collaborated with another close friend, the late CBS News correspondent Harry Reasoner — Rooneywriting and producing, Reasoner narrating — on such notable CBS News specials as 'An Essay on Bridges' (1965), [8] 'An Essay on Hotels' (1966), [8] 'An Essay on Women' (1967), [8] and 'The Strange Case of the English Language' (1968). [8] 'An Essay on War' (1971) won Rooney his third Writers Guild Award. [8] In 1968, he wrote two CBS News specials in the series 'Of Black America', [8] and his script for 'Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed' won him his first Emmy." [9] Rooney also wrote the script for the 1975 documentary FDR: The Man Who ChangedAmerica. In the 1970s, Rooneywrote and appeared in several prime-time specials for CBS, including In Praise of New York City (1974), [7] the Peabody Award-winning Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington (1975), [7] Mr. RooneyGoes to Dinner (1978), [7] and Mr. Rooney Goes to Work (1977). [7] Transcriptsof these specials, as well as of some of the earlier collaborations with Reasoner, are contained in the book A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney. Another special, Andy RooneyTakes Off, followed in 1984. A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney Rooney's "end-of-show" segment on 60 Minutes, "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" (originally "Three Minutes or So With Andy Rooney" [5] ), began in 1978 as a summer replacement for the debate segment "Point/Counterpoint" [5] featuring Shana Alexander and James Kilpatrick. The segment proved popular enough with viewers that beginning in the fall of 1978, it was seen in alternate weeks with the debate segment. At the end of the 1978-79 season, "Point/Counterpoint" was dropped altogether. [5] In the segment, Rooney typically offered satire on a trivial everyday issue, such as the cost of groceries, annoying relatives, or faulty Christmas presents. Rooney's appearances on "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" often included whimsical lists (e.g., types of milk, [10] bottled water brands, [11] car brands, [12] sports mascots, [13] etc.). In later years, his segments became more political as well. Despite being best known for his television presence on 60 Minutes, Rooney always considered himself a writer who incidentally appeared on television behind his famous walnut table, which he made himself. Rooney's shorter television essays have been archived in numerous books, such as Common Nonsense, which came out in 2002, [14] and Years of Minutes, released in 2003. [15] He pens a regular syndicated column for Tribune Media Services that runs in many newspapers in the United States, and which has been collected in book form. He won three Emmy Awards for his essays, [16] which now number over 1,000. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2003. [17] Rooney's renown made him a frequenttarget of parodies and impersonations by a diverse group of comedic figures, including Frank Caliendo, Rich Little and Beavis. In 1993, CBS released a two-volume VHS tape set of the best of Rooney's commentaries and field reports, called "The Andy Rooney Television Collection - His Best Minutes." In 2006, CBS released three DVDs of his more recent commentaries, "Andy Rooney On Almost Everything," "Things That Bother Andy Rooney,"and "Andy Rooney's Solutions." [citation needed] Rooney's final regular appearance on 60 Minutes was on October 2, 2011 [18] , after 33 years on the show. [19] It was his 1,097th commentary. [20] Views He claimed on Larry King Live to have a liberal bias, stating, "There is just no question that I, among others, have a liberal bias. I mean, I'm consistently liberal in my opinions." [21] Though in a controversial 1999 book Rooney self-identified as agnostic, [22] in 2008, Rooney said he was an atheist. [23] Over the years, many of his editorials poked fun at the concept of God and organized religion. Increased speculation on this was brought to a head by a series of comments he made regarding Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ (2004). [24] Though Rooney has been called Irish-American, he once said "I'm proud of my Irish heritage, but I'm not Irish. I'm not even Irish-American. I am American, period." In 2005, when four people were fired at CBS News perhaps because of the Killian documents controversy, Rooneysaid, "The people on the front lines got fired while the people most instrumental in getting the broadcast on escaped." Others at CBS had "kept mum" about the controversy. [25] Racial remarks Andy Rooney wrote a column in 1992 that it was "silly" for Native Americans to complain about team names like the Redskins saying, "The real problem is, we took the country away from the Indians, theywant it back and we're not going to give it to them. We feel guilty and we'll do what we can for them within reason, but they can't have their country back. Next question." [26] In a 2007 column for Tribune media services, he wrote, "I know all about Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, but today's baseball stars are all guys named Rodriguez to me." Rooney later commented, "Yeah, I probably shouldn't have said it, [but] it's a name that seems common in baseball now. I certainly didn't think of it in any derogatory sense." [26] Rooney always denied that he is a racist. In the 1940s, he was arrested after sitting in the back of a segregated bus in protest. [27] Also, in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected Presidentof the United States, Rooney applauded the fact that "the citizens of this country,80 percent of whomare white, freely chose to elect a black man as their leader simply because they thought he was the best choice." He said that makes him proud, and that it proves that the country has "come a long way — a good way." [28] Suspension by CBS In 1990, Rooney was suspended withoutpayfor three months by then-CBS News President David Burke, due to the negative publicity around his saying that "too much alcohol, too much food, drugs, homosexual unions, cigarettes [are] all known to lead to premature death." [29] He wrote an explanatory letter to a gay organization after being ordered not to do so. After only four weeks without Rooney, 60 Minutes lost 20 percent of its audience. CBS management then decided that it was in the best interest of the network to have Rooney return immediately. [30] After Rooney's reinstatement, he made his remorse public: “ There was never a writer who didn't hope that in some small way he was doing good with the words he put down on paper and, while I know it's presumptuous, I've always had in my mind that I was doing some little bit of good. Now, I was to be known for having done, not good, but bad. I'd be known for the rest of my life as a racist bigot and as someone who had made life a little more difficult for homosexuals. I felt terrible about that and I've learned a lot. [31] ” Remarks on Kurt Cobain's suicide In a 1994 segment, Rooney attracted controversy with his remarks on Kurt Cobain's suicide. He expressed his dismay that the death of Richard Nixon was overshadowed by Cobain's suicide, stating that he had never heard of Cobain nor his band, Nirvana. He went on to say that Cobain's suicide made him angry. "A lot of people would like to have the years left that he threw away," Rooneysaid. "What's all this nonsense about how terrible life is?" he asked, adding rhetorically to a young woman who had wept at the suicide, "I'd love to relieve the pain you're going through by switching my age for yours." In addition, he asked "What would all these young people be doing if theyhad real problems like a Depression, World War II or Vietnam?" and commented that "If [Cobain] applied the same brain to his music that he applied to his drug-infested life, it's reasonable to think that his music may not have made much sense either." [32] On the following Sunday's show, he apologized on the air, saying he should have taken into accountCobain's depression. He also read only critical feedback from listeners without interjecting any commentary of his own. [33][34] Family life His wife, Marguerite "Margie" Rooney (née Howard), died in 2004 of heart failure, after 62 years of marriage. Rooneylater wrote, "her name does not appear as often as it originally did [in my essays] because it hurts too much to write it." [35] He has four children, including a daughter, Emily Rooney, who is a TV talk show host and former ABC News producer; she currently hosts a nightly Boston-area public affairs program, Greater Boston, on WGBH. Emily's identical twin, Martha, is Chief of the Public Services Division at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland. The third daughter, Ellen, is a photographer based in London. His son, Brian Rooney, has been a correspondent for ABC since the 1980s. Rooney was hospitalized on October 25, 2011 for developing postoperative complications. As of October 26, the 92-year-old Rooney was listed as in stable condition. [36] Rooney lived in the Rowayton section of Norwalk, Connecticut [37] and in Rensselaerville, New York, [38] and is a longtime season ticket holder for the New York Giants. [39] Death Rooney died on November4, 2011 of post-surgical complications. [40] Awards 2001 – Emperor Has No Clothes Award from the Freedom From Religion Foundation. [41] Books Books written by Rooney: A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney, 1981 (ISBN 0-689-11194-0) The Complete Andy Rooney, 1983 (ISBN 0-446-11219-4) And More by Andy Rooney, 1985 (ISBN 0-517-40622-5) Pieces of My Mind, 1986 (ISBN 0-689-11492-3) The Most of Andy Rooney, 1986 (ISBN 0-689-11864-3) Word for Word, 1988 (ISBN 0-399-13200-7) Not That You Asked..., 1989 (ISBN 0-394-57837-6) Most of Andy Rooney, 1990 (ISBN 0-88365-765-1) Sweet and Sour, 1992 (ISBN 0-399-13774-2) My War, 1997 (ISBN 0-517-17986-5) Sincerely, Andy Rooney, 1999 (ISBN 1-891620-34-7) Common Nonsense, 2002, (ISBN 1-58648-144-4) Years of Minutes, 2003 (ISBN 1-58648-211-4) Out of My Mind, 2006 (ISBN 1-58648-416-8) 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit, 2009 (ISBN 1-58648-773-6) See also List of newspaper columnists References 1. ^ a b "Andy Rooney " . Mahalo. com. 2. ^ Andy Rooney To Kick Off The Albany Academ Alumni/ae Speaker Series On Septemb 19 3. ^ Colgate alumni play importa roles in variety of fields 4. ^ Rooney, Andy. How it Feels to Bomb Germany PBS.org 5. ^ a b c d e f Minzes heimer, Bob (Januar y 19, 2010). "'A few minute s' with Andy Rooney become s 91 years " . USA Today. 6. ^ Koyen, Kenneth "Snapsh of Mary Welsh Hemingw 2003. 7. ^ a b c d e Andy Rooney Biograph 8. ^ a b c d e f g "Andy Rooney " . CBS News. July 8, 1998. 9. ^ "Andy Rooney " . CBS News. Septem ber 21, 2005. Retriev ed October 28, 2008. 10. ^ Rooney, Andy (Novem ber 6, 2005). "What Have They Done to Milk? " . 60 Minutes (CBS News). Retriev ed October 27, 2008. 11. ^ Rooney, Andy (Octobe r 16, 2005). "Andy Bottles Eau De Rooney " . 60 Minutes (CBS News). Retriev ed October 27, 2008. 12. ^ Rooney, Andy (April 15, 2007). "Andy Checks Out The New Rides At The Auto Show " . 60 Minutes (CBS News). Retriev ed October 27, 2008. 13. ^ Rooney, Andy (Januar y 14, 2007). "What's In A Team Name? " . 60 Minutes (CBS News). Retriev ed October 27, 2008. 14. ^ Common Nonsens by Andy Rooney 15. ^ Amazon Years Of Minutes 16. ^ "Variety Profiles : Andy Rooney " . Variety. Retriev ed Novem ber 16, 2008. [de 17. ^ News & Docume Emmy Awards - 60 Minutes Receives Lifetime Achievem 18. ^ "My Lucky Life ". 60 Minutes . CBS. October 2, 2011. 19. ^ "Andy Rooney to step down from his '60 Minutes role , CBS News, 27 Septemb 2011. 20. ^ Pelley, Scott. "Andy Rooney ends his regular role on '60 Minutes Washing Post, 28 Septemb 2011. 21. ^ "Intervi ew With Andy Rooney ". Larry King Live. 2002-07-28. 22. ^ Rooney, Andy (1999). Sincerel y, Andy Rooney . pp. 31 3. 23. ^ "Huma nist Networ k News #35: Andy Rooney on Atheis m" . Humani st Networ k News. Septem ber 24, 2008. Retriev ed October 27, 2008. 24. ^ Associa ted Press (Februa ry 24, 2004). "Roone y draws ire of 'Passio n' fans" . MSNBC .com. Retriev ed Novem ber 7, 2008. 25. ^ Johnson , Peter; Mark Memm ott (Januar y 10, 2005). "CBS firings should go higher up, critics say" . USA Today. Retriev ed Novem ber 12, 2008. 26. ^ a b Aspan, Maria (August 27, 2007). "Andy Rooney Regrets a Racist Comme nt in a Recent Column " . The New York Times. Retriev ed October 28, 2008. 27. ^ "Andy Rooney ... on 60 Minutes " . Yahoo News. Novem ber 11, 2008. Retriev ed Novem ber 11, 2008. 28. ^ Rooney, Andy (Novem ber 9, 2008). "Andy Rooney On The Election " . 60 Minutes (CBS News). Retriev ed Novem ber 11, 2008. 29. ^ ((cite url= http://www.cbs 8301-18560_1 5731915 andy-rooney-dead-at-92/ )) 30. ^ Zoglin, Richard ; Leslie Whitake r (12 March 1990). "The Return of a Curmu dgeon " . Time. Retriev ed October 29, 2008. 31. ^ Rooney, Andy (2003). Years of Minutes . p. 151–152. 32. ^ "April 17, 1994". 60 Minutes . CBS. 17 April 1994. 33. ^ "April 24, 1994". 60 Minutes . CBS. 24 April 1994. 34. ^ Rooney, Andy (2003). Years of Minutes . pp. 266 –268. 35. ^ Rooney, Andy (2006). Out of My Mind. pp. xiv. 36. ^ "Longti me CBS newsm an Andy Rooney hospital ized" . CNN. October 26, 2011. Retriev ed October 27, 2011. 37. ^ So You Want to Live in ... Rowayto Connect 38. ^ Andy Rooney celebrat big day in big way 39. ^ "Andy Knows How To Save" . CBS News. Novem ber 25, 2008. 40. ^ [1] 41. ^ Emperor Has No Clothes Award External links Andy Rooney at the Internet Movie Database CBS Biography Archive of previous "A Few Minutes..." segments Andy Rooney Podcast among other CBS podcasts Snopes.com on RooneyE-Mail Snopes.com's article on false e-mail claims Potential Racialism from Rooney
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