Andy Rooney 1919-2011

Andy Rooney, the beloved “60 Minutes” commentator, has passed away at the age of 92. Several weeks ago, Mr. Rooney stepped down from his long-time role at CBS, where he had delivered television essays for over three decades, ranging from the mundane to the profound. He created a unique brand of wry, deadpan humor, though he would have hardly called himself a comedian.

In fact, he never thought of himself as a television star either. He was gifted journalist, who got his start writing for the Stars and Stripes during World War II. It was not until 1978, after a distinguished writing career, that he landed his iconic role on “60 Minutes.” 

Rooney was at times contentious, and he wore the moniker of a “curmudgeon” like it was a uniform. In 1990, he was suspended from CBS news after remarks he made about “homosexual unions,” blaming them as a cause of death, akin to cigarettes and alcohol. He later came under fire for a supposed statement about “watered down intelligence” among the black community.

Without a doubt, many of his opinions were antiquated or unfounded. But through it all, he was frank and honest. And in this age of political correctness, honesty is an increasingly rare find in a television anchor.

Thomas L. Hauch