Andy Rooney, the 92-year-old newsman whose verbal essays have been a feature on “60 Minutes” for the past 34 years, will make his last regular appearance on the newsmagazine this Sunday, according to a CBS News release.
Before Rooney’s final essay, his 1,097th installment for the show, he will give a retrospective interview to Morley Safer, examining his long career at CBS. He has been with “60 Minutes” since 1978, when he recorded his first essay about deaths from car accidents over the Fourth of July weekend. Since 1979, his essay, “A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney,” has been a weekly feature on the show.
CBS News officials said that Rooney would be welcome to contribute to the show anytime he wanted.
“It’s harder for him to do it every week, but he will always have the ability to speak his mind on ‘60 Minutes’ when the urge hits him,” Jeff Fager, the chairman of CBS News and executive producer of “60 Minutes” told The New York Times.
“He doesn’t plan to stop,” he said. “He’s still doing his job. Longevity runs in his side of the family. And that side is also a pain in the ass.”
Rooney received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2003. He is also the most decorated recipient of the Writers Guild Award for Best Script of the Year, having won the award six times. He is the author of 16 books, and also writes a syndicated newspaper column for Tribune.
He began at CBS News in 1949 as a writer, and has also been a producer for the network. He wrote his first television essay, “An Essay on Doors,” in 1964. It was read on-camera by Harry Reasoner.
“I obviously have a knack for getting on paper what a lot of people have thought and didn’t realize they thought,” Rooney told the Associated Press in 1998. “And they say, ‘Hey, yeah!’ And they like that.”
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