Durable as his generation was, Andy Rooney couldn’t live forever. So there’s something wonderful about the “60 Minutes” commentator having been able to deliver an on-air farewell before his death Saturday at the age of 92.
Even in his final remarks, Rooney sounded reluctant to go. And there’s almost a sense he was one of those guys where the mere act of working kept him going.
“This is a moment I’ve dreaded,” he told the audience, while talking about how lucky he had been to make a living doing something he truly loved.
In that farewell, Rooney also discussed how he saw himself as a writer, first and foremost. But nobody spends that many years on television without having certain qualities that have nothing to do with the writer’s craft.
Rooney could be an acquired taste, and the remembrances shouldn’t gloss over the times when he verbally shot himself in the foot. But what’s pretty clear is that with broadcast news heading in the direction that it is, we won’t see anyone quite like him in his “60 Minutes” role again.
And for the rest of our lives — or at least, those of us old enough to have been sentient when Rooney was plying his trade on-air — whenever someone starts a sentence “Do you ever wonder….?,” Andy Rooney won’t be entirely gone.