CBS News Remembers Andy Rooney: ‘The Oracle of West 57th St… Apparently, God needed a writer’

By Chris Ariens 

Words of condolence following the passing of Andy Rooney, from his CBS colleagues.

Leslie Moonves: “Words cannot adequately express Andy’s contribution to the world of journalism and the impact he made–as a colleague and friend–upon everyone at CBS. His wry wit, his unique ability to capture the essence of any issue, and his larger-than-life personality made him an icon, not only within the industry but among readers and viewers around the globe. Andy was not just a member of the CBS family; he was a member of the world’s family. We treasure the legacy he has left, and his presence will be sorely missed by those of us at CBS and by his fans around the world.”

Jeff Fager: “It’s a sad day at 60 MINUTES and for everybody here at CBS News. It’s hard to imagine not having Andy around. He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much.”

Morley Safer: “Underneath that gruff exterior, was a prickly interior…and deeper down was a sweet and gentle man, a patriot with a love of all things American, like good bourbon and a delicious hatred for prejudice and hypocrisy.”

Scott Pelley: “The Romans had Cicero. The English had Dickens. America had Andy. He hid a philosopher’s genius behind the honest prose of Everyman. Apparently, God needed a writer.”

Steve Kroft: “Andy always said he wanted to work until the day he died and he managed to do it, save the past few weeks in the hospital. What a life: ninety- two years of doing what you love to do while engaging and entertaining millions and millions of people. He played an invaluable role in the success of 60 MINUTES over the years, providing a much anticipated

final course at the end of what was usually a good meal. Sometimes Andy offered up a confection, sometimes it was a shot of Irish whiskey, but was it was always delivered with a twinkle in the eye. I think it’s fair to say that he was the most popular person ever to appear on 60 MINUTES, and I’m sure Andy would agree with that assessment.

Lesley Stahl: “Andy Rooney was our poet laureate. He was the Oracle of West 57th St., an everyman if everyman wrote like a dream. He was the most popular member of our team, loved by the audience, and far more loved by all of us than he knew. On his 80th birthday, when some of us spoke of him with affection, his eyes watered up with surprise. He will be missed and mourned.”

Bob Simon: “Wherever I went in America, whenever anyone suspected I worked for 60 MINUTES, their first question would be: “How’s Andy?” I‘d reply: “He’s fine. How would you expect him to be?” Or something curmudgeonly like that: something which wouldn’t make Andy wince too much. It is not difficult to tell stories which make viewers angry or sad. But to make them laugh? That’s an art form. Andy did it better than anyone on television without ever telling a joke. For me, his finest moment was his last appearance on 60 MINUTES. He said: “I’m not retiring. Writers don’t retire and I’ll always be a writer.”

Susan Bieber: “A few words could not adequately express my sadness on Andy’s passing. I had the honor to be his producer for 16 great years. Andy always said that he was just an average guy, however we knew better.”