Famous curmudgeon Andy Rooney died Friday night in New York City due to complications from recent surgery. The 60 Minutes commentator recently stepped down from the show, where Rooney was a signature of the broadcast for decades.
“It’s a sad day at ’60 Minutes’ and for everybody here at CBS News,” said Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of “60 Minutes.” “It’s hard to imagine not having Andy around. He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much.”
“Underneath that gruff exterior, was a prickly interior … and deeper down was a sweet and gentle man, a patriot with a love of all things American, like good bourbon and a delicious hatred for prejudice and hypocrisy,” “60 Minutes” colleague Morley Safer said in a statement.
Rooney resided in Manhattan; he also kept a family vacation home in Rensselaerville, N.Y, and the first home he ever purchased, in Rowayton, Conn. His his wife of 62 years, Marguerite, died in 2004. He is survived by his four children Ellen, Brian, the former longtime ABC News correspondent, Emily, longtime host of “Greater Boston,” a local public affairs television program on PBS, and Martha Fishel; five grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
Rooney put things in perspective in his 1,097th and last regularly scheduled 60 Minutes appearance.
“I’ve done a lot of complaining here,” he said then, “but of all the things I’ve complained about, I can’t complain about my life.”
Here’s a few of our favorite Rooney comments:
* “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”
* “I didn’t get old on purpose. It just happened. If you’re lucky, it could happen to you.”
* “If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.”
* “All men are not created equal but should be treated as though they were under the law.”
* “It would be a better world if everyone in it knew all the truth about everything.”
* “I’m already suspicious of anyone who thinks he or she is smart enough to be president. You’d have to have some ego to believe that about yourself.”
* “We’re all proud of making little mistakes. It gives us the feeling we don’t make any big ones.”
* “We’ve sent a man to the moon and that’s 29,000 miles away. The center of the Earth is only 4,000 miles away. You could drive that in a week but for some reason nobody’s ever done it.”
* “Vegetarian — that’s an old Indian word meaning ‘lousy hunter.'”