Rooney is known to millions for his wry, humorous and sometimes controversial essays that have been the signature end piece of 60 Minutes for decades.
The 2003-04 season marks Rooney's 26th doing these unique reports, "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney," which became a regular feature on 60 minutes in 1978. He's won three Emmy Awards for the essays, which now number more than 800; he was just awarded a Lifetime Achievement Emmy.
Rooney has always considered himself a writer who appears on television; in addition to his 60 Minutes essays, he has written a national newspaper column for Tribune Media Services since 1979, published articles in major magazines, and is the author of 13 books, the most recent, Common Nonsense, published in 2002 by PublicAffairs.
Rooney's rich body of work was recognized by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists when he was presented with its Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award (June 2003). "Ernie Pyle's life and work eloquently captured the hopes and aspirations of the common man... Andy Rooney's work is in that fine tradition," said the society's president. Rooney was a friend of Pyle, the famous World War II correspondent who was felled by a sniper in the war.
"The most felicitous nonfiction writer in television" is how Time magazine once described Rooney, who has won the Writers Guild Award for Best Script of the year six times, more than any writer in the history the medium.
Rooney wrote his first television essay, a longer-length precursor of the type he does on 60 Minutes, in 1964, "An Essay on Doors." From 1962 to 1968, he collaborated with the late CBS News correspondent Harry Reasoner - Rooney writing and producing, Reasoner narrating on such - notable CBS News specials as "An Essay on Women" (1967), "An Essay on Chairs" (1968) and "The Strange Case of the English Language" (1968). "An Essay of War" (1971) won Rooney his third Writers Guild Award. In 1968, he wrote two CBS News specials in the series "Of Black America." His script for "Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed" won his first Emmy.
Rooney was a 60 Minutes producer for Harry Reasoner during the broadcast's first few seasons.
He also wrote, produced and narrated a series of broadcasts for CBS News on various aspects of America and American Life, including "Mr. Rooney goes to Washington," for which he won a Peabody Award, "Andy Rooney Takes Off,""Mr. Rooney Goes to Work" and "Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner."
Rooney joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for "Authur Godfrey's Talent Scouts," a top-ten hit that was number one in 1952. He also wrote for "The Gary Moore Show" (1959-65), helping it to achieve hit status as a top-20 program. At the same time, he wrote for CBS News public affairs broadcasts such as "The Twentieth Century,"" News of America,""Adventure,""Calendar" and "The Morning Show with Will Rogers Jr."
Rooney's other books are: Air Gunner; The Story of The Stars and Stripes; Conquerors' Peace; The Fortunes of War; A Few Minutes of Andy Rooney; And More by Andy Rooney; Pieces of My Mind; Word for Word; Not That You Asked...; Sweet and Sour; My War; and Sincerely, Andy Rooney.
He attended Colgate University until he was drafted into the Army in 1941. In February 1943, he was one of six correspondents who flew with the Eighth Air Force on the first American bombing raid over Germany.
Rooney and his wife, Marguerite, live in Rowayton, Connecticut. They have four children.