Andy Rooney, CBS News' longtime resident curmudgeon whose whimsical and acerbic essays on "60 Minutes" turned the rumpled writer into an unlikely — and reluctant — TV celebrity, died Friday night, only weeks after retiring from the show. He was 92.
CBS announced the death of Rooney, who launched his long career during World War II as a correspondent for the Stars and Stripes military newspaper and continued to be a fixture on "60 Minutes" for 33 years.
Andy Rooney: The obituary of TV commentator Andy Rooney in the Nov. 6 Section A said that Rooney was asked by a USA Today reporter in January about retiring and replied: "Retire? From what? Life?" Rooney made the comment in January 2010. —
He died at a New York City hospital of complications following minor surgery, according to CBS.
Photos: Andy Rooney | 1919 - 2011
For millions of Americans, Rooney was a welcome visitor into their homes on Sunday evenings, an old familiar face appearing for a few minutes at the tail end of one of the most highly rated programs in television history.
Viewers of the award-winning TV newsmagazine who saw him as a friend, neighbor or relative knew what to expect from the man who offered his opinions on a broad array of topics.
Wry. Curmudgeonly. Whimsical. An articulate Everyman. Unruffled yet quizzical. A crank. A complainer. The man of a thousand questions.
Those are just some of the words journalists have used to describe the man TV Guide called "America's favorite grump."
Seated behind his desk in his small, cluttered office at CBS in New York, Rooney spoke into the camera as though the viewer at home had just dropped in for a brief visit to see what was on his mind that week.
There was always something.
Designer jeans: "The facts of the advertising greatly exceed the fact of the average American posterior."
Bank names: "Trust is a word banks like in their names. There are certain names they'd never use, 'Bankorama,' for instance."
Baseball: "My own time is passing fast enough without some national game to help it along."
But Rooney didn't just spend his few minutes on seemingly trivial matters. In 2003, for example, he turned his attention to the French for failing to support the war in Iraq.
"You can't beat the French when it comes to food, fashion, wine or perfume, but they lost their license to have an opinion on world affairs years ago," he said. "The French lost World War II to the Germans in about 20 minutes."
With Rooney, as his "60 Minutes" colleague Mike Wallace once said, "What you see is what you get."
"I have never, never come across a man I admire more, respect more," Wallace said during a discussion of journalism in World War II at the Smithsonian Institution in 2004.
Andy Rooney dies at 92; curmudgeonly commentator on '60 Minutes'
His end-of-show essays turned him into a reluctant celebrity. TV Guide called him 'America's favorite grump.' He retired in October 2011 after 33 years on the show.
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