Andy Rooney, the "60 Minutes" commentator known to generations for his wry, humorous and contentious television essays – a unique genre he is credited with inventing – died today. He was 92 and had homes in New York City, Rensseleaerville, N.Y. and Rowayton, Conn.
Rooney had announced on Oct. 2, 2011 in his 1097th essay for "60 Minutes" that he would no longer appear regularly.
Rooney wrote for television since its birth, spending more than 60 years at CBS, 30 of them behind the camera as a writer and producer, first for entertainment and then news programming, before becoming a television personality – a role he said he was never comfortable in. He preferred to be known as a writer and was the author of best-selling books and a national newspaper column, in addition to his "60 Minutes" essays.
But it is his television role as the inquisitive and cranky commentator on "60 Minutes" that made him a cultural icon. For over 30 years, Rooney had the last word on the most watched television program in history. Ratings for the broadcast rose steadily over its time period, peeking at a few minutes before the end of the hour, precisely when he delivered his essays – which could generate thousands of response letters.
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