In his 1,097th commentary on CBS News’ 60 Minutes, Andy Rooney declared he’d never quit writing, but bid farewell in his final weekly essay for the newsmagazine after 33 years.
“This is a moment I’ve dreaded. I wish I could do this forever, I can’t though. But I’m not retiring, writers don’t retire and I’ll always be a writer,” the 92-year-old said.
Rooney, who launched his career through writing words for others, gained recognition when he stepped in front of the camera in 1978 for “Three Minutes or So With Andy Rooney,” which later became “A Few Minutes With Andy Rooney.” Focusing on trivial everyday issues, the segment soon became a national favorite.
In his signature blunt yet charming demeanor, Rooney reflected on his life as a writer, noting he became accidentally famous for his end-of-the-show segment on 60 Minutes. “I spent my first 50 years trying to become well known as a writer, and the next 30 trying to avoid being famous,” he lamented.
But while many of his fans find his grumblings endearing, the veteran newsman admitted he has been lucky. “I’ve done a lot of complaining here, but one thing I can’t complain about is my life,” he said.
In his final goodbye, America’s grumpiest journalist acknowledged he’s not always gracious. “I don’t say this often, but thank you.”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a few minutes with Andy Rooney if he didn’t sign off begging fans to leave him be should they run into him in a restaurant. Oh, Andy.