Andy Rooney,who devlivered his last "60 Minutes" commentary Oct. 2, passed away Friday night in New York following minor surgery. He was 92.
Rooney joined CBS-TV in 1949 when maybe 19 TV sets existed.
His final on-air words were be preceded by a conversation between Rooney and Morley Safer, who at age 79 (and following the earlier departures of Harry Reasoner, Don Hewitt and Mike Wallace) became the series’ reigning elder.
“Three Minutes Or So With Andy Rooney” was launched in 1978 as a summer replacement for “60 Minutes’” “Point/Counterpoint” speed-debate segment (best remembered for inspiring Dan Aykroyd’s signature “Weekend Update” line “Jane, you ignorant slut”). Rooney’s segments proved so popular “Point/Counterpoint” was phased out entirely by 1979.
Norm Macdonald loved Rooney’s segments so much the SNL vet created a wildly unpopular Fox sitcom called “A Minute With Stan Hooper” about a guy who delivers commentaries at the end of a newsmagazine.
Rooney joined CBS in 1949, as a writer for Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts, when Godfrey was at his peak on CBS radio and TV. It opened the show up to a variety of viewers. The program was a hit, reaching number one in 1952, during Rooney's tenure with the program. It was the beginning of a close life-long friendship between Rooney and Godfrey. He wrote for Godfrey's daytime radio and TV show Arthur Godfrey Time. He later moved on to The Garry Moore Show, which became a hit program. During the same period, he wrote for CBS News public affairs programs such as The Twentieth Century.
According to CBS News's biography of him, "Rooney wrote his first television essay, a longer-length precursor of the type he does on 60 Minutes, in 1964, 'An Essay on Doors.' From 1962 to 1968, he collaborated with another close friend, the late CBS News correspondent Harry Reasoner — Rooney writing and producing, Reasoner narrating — on such notable CBS News specials as 'An Essay on Bridges' (1965), 'An Essay on Hotels' (1966), 'An Essay on Women' (1967), and 'The Strange Case of the English Language' (1968). In 1968, he wrote two CBS News specials in the series 'Of Black America', and his script for 'Black History: Lost, Stolen, or Strayed' won him his first Emmy." 
When CBS declined to broadcast 'An Essay on War' in 1970, Rooney quit CBS and read the opinion himself on PBS--his first appearance on television. That show in 1971 won Rooney his third Writers Guild Award. Rooney rejoined CBS in 1973 to write and produce special programs. Rooney also wrote the script for the 1975 documentary FDR: The Man Who Changed America.
After his return to the network, Rooney wrote and appeared in several prime-time specials for CBS, including In Praise of New York City (1974), the Peabody Award-winning Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington (1975), Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner (1978), and Mr. Rooney Goes to Work (1977). Transcripts of these specials, as well as of some of the earlier collaborations with Reasoner, are contained in the book A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney. Another special, Andy Rooney Takes Off, followed in 1984.