Monday, November 7, 2011

Andy Rooney

Andy Rooney passed away last week. He was 92. Most of us knew him best from his years on 60 Minutes. From 1978 until just a month ago, he ended each show with his short commentaries. 33 years, 1097 shows.
His homespun philosophy ranged from the mundane ("I don't like music I can't hum", I don't understand "wash and wear" clothes.  Why would I wash ANY clothes if I'm not planning to wear them?) to the political and controversial. He considered himself a liberal (once after the second world war, he was arrested for riding in the back of a bus with his black soldier friends) but still found a way to upset blacks, gays, Native Americans, and others at times. Always he would return in a following week to apologize. I guess if you're going to give your opinion 1097 times you'll make some mistakes.
He began his writing career writing for Stars and Strips during WW II. A pacifist and opposed to the war, he was drafted. He talked his way into a job as a reporter. He received numerous awards for his reports, including the Silver Star for reporting under fire. After being among the first Americans to see the Nazi concentration camps, he rethought his pacifist views and came to believe that some wars could be justified.
He worked until age 92, never afraid to have an opinion but also never afraid to change his opinion.
There were times when I, and I believe others, would watch 60 Minutes just to catch Andy.
Mr Rooney, we will surely miss your wit.

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