By WGBH News
Nov. 7, 2011
BOSTON — Andy Rooney, the man CBS called “an American Original,” died on Nov. 4 at the age of 92. Calling in from her father's "60 Minutes" desk on Nov. 7, WGBH host Emily Rooney told stories and expressed her gratitude for the outpouring of support.
"I want to thank so many listeners and viewers of 'The Emily Rooney Show' and 'Greater Boston' for contacting us. Believe me, I really, really appreciate it. I’ve gotten some very, very thoughtful notes. And I think my father would appreciate the fact that many, many people who have written recognize the fact that he wanted to be remembered as a writer and not an ornery television personality. And I thank those people who did," she said.
Indeed, Andy Rooney's talent took many forms, including 16 books, thousands of newspaper columns, writing jobs with the Arthur Godfrey and Gary Moore shows in the early days of television, a stint as a war correspondent during World War II.
For many years, he made time to be interviewed by his daughter on her show. In this excerpt from a television appearance back in 2000, he addressed one of the core questions about his public image.
Emily Rooney said, “People always say to me, and I know you get it all the time, too, ‘Is your dad really a curmudgeon? Is he really funny?’ And the thing that's really hard for me to describe to people, because I've always known you as my dad, is that you're thoughtful, first and foremost. And I guess I want to ask you, I know you consider yourself a writer, but — do you really want to be thought of as a curmudgeon?”
Andy Rooney responded, “I don't like the name ‘curmudgeon.’ For one thing, it belongs to H.L. Mencken, who was a great curmudgeon…. I think of myself as a writer and reporter. I like the reporting profession. And I think any reporter is basically [a] skeptic, skeptical of things, doubtful, and you’ve got to keep pressing to get answers, as you well know. Because people don't want to tell you the truth. So you have to be curmudgeonly, if you're a reporter. Keep following up on things, and doubt everything.”
THE EMILY ROONEY SHOW