Famed television commentator Andy Rooney, who had a home in the Rowayton section of Norwalk for decades, died Friday night at a New York hospital after complications from minor surgery, CBS News announced Saturday morning on its website . He was 92.
Rooney just signed off from "60 Minutes" on Oct. 4 after more than three decades of doing cranky commentaries at the close of the show. He reportedly underwent minor surgery the third week of October, according to People.com , but suffered serious complications.
He had been featured on "60 Minutes" since 1978 and did 1,097 original essays for the Sunday night news program.
"It is his television role as the inquisitive and cranky commentator on '60 Minutes' that made him a cultural icon," CBS News said Saturday. "For over 30 years, Rooney had the last word on the most watched television program in history. Ratings for the broadcast rose steadily over its time period, peeking at a few minutes before the end of the hour, precisely when he delivered his essays - which could generate thousands of response letters."
CBS News went on to say, "Mainly, his essays struck a cord in viewers by pointing out life's unspoken truths or more often complaining about its subtle lies, earning him the 'curmudgeon' status he wore like a uniform. 'I obviously have a knack for getting on paper what a lot of people have thought and didn't realize they thought,' Rooney told The Associated Press in 1998. In typical themes, Rooney questioned labels on packages, products that didn't seem to work and why people didn't talk in elevators."
Rooney, whose wife died in 2004, is survived by four children. The home in Rowayton was the first he had ever purchased.
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