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Andy Rooney Dead At 92: Long Time Writer And Essayist Worked Nearly To The End
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Andy Rooney Dead at 92: Long Time Writer And Essayist Worked Nearly to the End

Andy Rooney is best known for his grumpy take on every day topics on the CBS news program, Sixty Minutes, but his career in writing started long before he took to the airwaves in the 1970's with his first broadcast on the topic of people who keep track of how many fatal car accidents occur during holiday weekends.

Rooney had completed his last commentary, nearly two thousand in total about a month before he died. He was ninety two years old. Rooney had long told people that he had no interest in retiring, preferring, he said, to continue working until he died. He had gone to the hospital for surgery but no details were released about what he was having done. Major complications kept Rooney in the hospital until his death.

Andy Rooney worked as a freelance writer before he got a break into the business, telling radio personality Arthur Godfrey that he needed better writers for his radio show. Godfrey agreed and hired him. When Godfrey made the change from radio to tv several years later, he took Andy Rooney with him, as his only writer.

Rooney wrote for Garry Moore in the early '60's but would leave CBS after the network would not air his angry essay on the topic of the Vietnam War. That same essay was read on PBS and earned him one of many writing awards. He would come back to CBS in three years, in the role of writer and producer of specials. One of those specials, Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington would earn him another award, this one the Peabody. In 2002, Rooney would write a scathing essay on the topic of the Iraq war in 2002, expressing his anger with George W. Bush's administration over that decision.

While many people were amused or agreed with Rooney's rants, he sometimes drew the ire of different groups for some of the things that he said. Among those were Gay Rights groups and Native Americans but Rooney often insisted that he was no racist. In 1990, Rooney was suspended by CBS for three months for allegedly making a racist comment during an interview. While in the Army, Rooney had been arrested after he refused to leave a bus seat among African Americans, so the accusation of racism hurt and angered him.

Rooney and his wife Marguerite were married for 62 years and had four children. Marguerite died from heart failure in 2004.


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