Andy Rooney, the loveable curmudgeon, on 60 minutes had died and his colleagues are paying tribute to him in the best way they know possible — with the written word.
Their tributes are below:
“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. “
“The Romans had Cicero. The English had Dickens. America had Andy. He hid a philosopher’s genius behind the honest prose of Everyman. Apparently, God needed a writer.”
“Andy always said he wanted to work until the day he died and he managed to do it, save the past few weeks in the hospital. What a life: ninety- two years of doing what you love to do while engaging and entertaining millions and millions of people.
He played an invaluable role in the success of 60 Minutes over the years, providing a much anticipated final course at the end of what was usually a good meal. Sometimes Andy offered up a confection, sometimes it was a shot of Irish whiskey, but was it was always delivered with a twinkle in the eye. I think its’ fair to say that he was the most popular person ever to appear on 60 Minutes, and I’m sure Andy would agree with that assessment.”
“Andy Rooney was our poet laureate. He was the Oracle of West 57th St., an everyman if everyman wrote like a dream. He was the most popular member of our team, loved by the audience, and far more loved by all of us than he knew. On his 80th birthday, when some of us spoke of him with affection, his eyes watered up with surprise. He will be missed and mourned.”
“Wherever I went in America, whenever anyone suspected I worked for 60 Minutes their first question would be: “How’s Andy?” I‘d reply: “He’s fine. How would you expect him to be?” Or something curmudgeonly like that: something which wouldn’t make Andy wince too much.
It is not difficult to tell stories which make viewers angry or sad. But to make them laugh? That’s an art form. Andy did it better than anyone on television without ever telling a joke. For me, his finest moment was his last appearance on 60 Minutes.” He said: “I`m not retiring. Writers don’t retire and I’ll always be a writer.”
Andy Rooney died Friday night in a hospital in New York. He was 92.