“Death is a distant rumor to the young’
Andrew Aitken “Andy’ Rooney was an award winning journalist and television writer who was one of the first American journalists to visit and report on the Nazi concentration camps. His journalistic career began while he was serving in the army during the World War II when he started writing for the ‘Stars and Stripes’. As a correspondent for the newspaper he even flew in bombing missions over Germany. He later stated that being a pacifist he was opposed to the war, and whatever he witnessed at the concentration camps affected him profoundly both as a human being and as a writer. His first book, ‘Air Gunner’ was released even as the war was going on. He worked as a freelance writer after the war before landing a job as a writer for the CBS show ‘Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts’. A lifelong friendship between Rooney and Godfrey ensued which enabled him to establish himself as a television writer. Eventually he moved on to write public affairs programs for the CBS News department. Rooney wrote amusing essays on mundane, daily life objects like chairs, doors, and bridges which made him very popular among the viewers, and led to his gig on ‘60 Minutes’. Rooney retired from his weekly commentary work on 60 Minutes in October 2011. He had completed his 1,097th essay for the news program. A month later, on November 4, 2011, Rooney died. He was 92 years old.
Rooney wasn’t without controversy for his “no nonsense’ and non-politically correct comments but he was still loved by many in his TV appearances and essays he wrote for mass media.
Andy made an excellent contribution to society and was vital in him being one of the first reporters who brought out the truth on the Nazi concentration camps all while serving his country in the US Army and as such he belongs in the the Smithsonian’s opening of a new exhibit to showcase the best and brightest in mass media.