Colgate alumnus Andy Rooney dies at age 92

Originally posted: November 5, 2011

Andy Rooney ’42 P’74, GP’05, the Colgate curmudgeon known by millions for his slice-of-life commentaries on “60 Minutes,” has died at the age of 92. CBS said he died from complications from a recent surgery.

The newsman’s death Friday night in a New York City hospital comes just weeks after he gave his farewell broadcast, ending a run on the CBS news program that included 1,097 original essays.

Rooney stayed connected with his alma mater for 70 years. He returned to campus and
attended Colgate events frequently, as recently as a financial aid fundraising event in September.

Not only did he bestow a scholarship in his name at Colgate — the Andrew A. Rooney ’42 Endowed Scholarship — he also enjoyed seeing his son and grandson graduate from the university, as well.

“We extend the Rooney family, a true Colgate family, our deepest sympathies. Andy achieved the goal that we set for all of our students — to lead an accomplished, fulfilling life,” Colgate President Jeffrey Herbst said today in a statement.

“There’s nobody like Andy and there never will be. He’ll hate hearing this, but he’s an American original,” Jeff Fager ’77, P’06 had said at the time of Rooney’s final broadcast. Fager is chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of “60 Minutes.”

Fager and more than 800 other alumni, family members, and friends had gathered in New York City last year to pay tribute to Rooney.

He was “roasted” by several other alumni who also have forged high-profile journalism careers, including Bob Woodruff ’83, P’13, Gloria Borger ’74, P’10, and Howard Fineman ’70

Rooney began his run on “60 Minutes” in July 1978 with an essay about the reporting of automobile fatalities on the Independence Day weekend, according to CBS News. He became a regular feature that fall, alternating weeks with the dueling James J. Kilpatrick and Shana Alexander before getting the end slot all to himself in the fall of 1979.

In Rooney’s first full season as the “60 Minutes” commentator, the broadcast was the No. 1 program for the first time.

In addition to his television work and magazine articles he wrote earlier in his career, Rooney is the author of 16 books, most recently Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit, which was published in 2009.

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