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Albany, New York
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Albany, New York

Aitken, Andrew “Andy” Rooney was an award-winning journalist and television writer who was one of the first American journalists to visit the Nazi concentration camps and report on them. He began his journalistic career while serving in the army during WWII, when he began writing for the ‘Stars and Stripes.’ He also flew bombing sorties over Germany as a reporter for the newspaper. He subsequently declared that he was opposed to the war as a pacifist, and that whatever he experienced at the concentration camps had a tremendous impact on him as a human being and as a writer. Even while the war was still going on, his debut novel, ‘Air Gunner,’ was published. After the war, he worked as a freelance writer until getting a job as a writer for CBS’s ‘Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.’ Rooney and Godfrey developed a lifetime connection, which helped him establish himself as a television writer. Before being recruited to write articles for Harry Reasoner, he went on to create public affairs programs for the CBS News department. Rooney became famous for his witty musings on everyday items like chairs, doors, and bridges, which earned him a spot on ’60 Minutes.’

Childhood and Adolescence

Walter Scott Rooney and Ellinor Reynolds Rooney were his parents. Before enrolling at Colgate University in New York, he attended Albany Academy, an independent college-preparatory day school.

Career of Andy Rooney

In 1941, he was recruited into the United States Army to fight in World War II. In 1942, he began his journalistic career by joining the military newspaper ‘Stars and Stripes.’ In 1943, he was sent as one of the journalists to cover the second American bombing operation over Germany while flying with the Eighth Air Force. He went on to become one of the first American journalists to visit and report on Nazi concentration camps.

His wartime experience had a profound impact on him; he was a pacifist at heart, and his exposure to widespread damage and death altered his perspective on life and war. He grew as a writer and journalist as a result of the experience.

In January 1944, he released his first book, ‘Air Gunner,’ which he co-authored with Oram C Hutton. The book, which detailed his spectacular and often gruesome experiences throughout the war, became a best-seller. He began working as a freelancer after the war. In 1949, he was hired as a writer for the CBS show ‘Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.’ Godfrey was a well-known radio and television personality at the time. Rooney’s career was aided by his meeting and eventual relationship with him.

As a writer for ‘Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts,’ he was a tremendous hit, exposing his abilities to a broader audience. After Rooney joined the show, it grew in popularity and was voted number one in 1952.
The show’s success led to an invitation to write for Godfrey’s daytime radio and television show, ‘Arthur Godfrey Time,’ which he declined.

He began writing for ‘The Garry Moore Show,’ a variety show on the CBS television network that featured comic sketches, monologues, and singing, in 1959. During his tenure, which lasted until 1965, the show became a smash.
He began contributing to the CBS News public affairs program ‘The 20th Century’ in the 1960s, focusing primarily on serious writing. He created two CBS News programs that aired as part of the ‘Of Black America’ series, one of which earned him his first Emmy Award.

From 1962 through 1968, he partnered with CBS News journalist Harry Reasoner, for whom he penned a series of pieces about everyday things. These pieces served as the foundation for CBS News programs such as “An Essay on Bridges,” “An Essay on Hotels,” and “The Strange Case of the English Language” (1968).

He’d written ‘An Essay on War,’ a World War II memoir that he planned to air on CBS. When the station turned down the offer, he left CBS in 1970 and began presenting it on PBS. His first appearance on television was during this event.

He returned to CBS in 1973. ‘In Praise of New York City’ (1974), ‘Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington’ (1975), ‘Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner’ (1977), and ‘Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner’ (1978) were among the special shows he authored and participated in (1978).

In 1978, he started a section called ‘A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney’ at the end of the CBS newsmagazine ’60 Minutes.’ The part began as a substitute for the discussion section ‘Point/Counterpoint,’ but due to its popularity, it has now become a regular fixture. He was a regular on the show for nearly three decades, and his final appearance was in 2011.

Major Projects of Andy Rooney

He is most known for his weekly broadcast ‘A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,’ which was part of the show ’60 Minutes.’ From 1978 through 2011, he was a regular on the show, providing witty comments on everything from world politics to personal philosophy. During his 34-year employment with the show, he made 1,097 appearances as a commentator.

Achievements & Awards

In 2001, the Freedom From Religion Foundation honoured him with the Emperor Has No Clothes Award. He has received four Emmy Awards, the first for his writing for the CBS special “Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed,” which he penned in 1968. In 2003, he was also honored with a Lifetime Achievement Emmy.

Personal History and Legacy

In 1942, he married Marguerite “Margie” Howard. Margie died in 2004 after a 62-year marriage that produced four children and lasted for 62 years. His two children are both journalists. He maintained an active lifestyle to the end of his life, appearing on ’60 Minutes’ and other shows. At the age of 92, he died of postoperative complications in November 2011.

Estimated Net Worth

Andy Rooney has a net worth of $45 million as a radio and television writer in the United States. Andy Rooney was best known for his weekly CBS News program “60 Minutes” segment “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” which aired from 1978 until 2011. Andy Rooney was born in Albany, New York, on January 14, 1919.