Andy Rooney, who walked away from “60 Minutes” just three weeks ago is being hospitalized after developing serious complications from surgery.
CBS said in a statement that Rooney is stable, but at the request of his family, the network didn’t reveal why the 92-year-old iconic news figure was having surgery.
Rooney signed off “60 Minutes” on Oct. 2, ending a 33-year run that included over 1,000 broadcasts. His 1,097th original essay was his last.
During his final minutes, Rooney, known as the crankiest man on television, said: “Not many people in this world are not as lucky as I have been, when I was in high school I had an English teacher who told me I was a good writer, so I set out to become a writer myself. I made my living as a writer for 70 years now, been pretty good.”
Before his final lecture to viewers, Rooney sat down with Morley Safer, as the two discussed his career and Rooney’s interaction with fans.
Not a big fan of taking time out to provide his John Hancock to fans, Rooney told Safer that he has no intention of signing autographs during retirement.
“What kind of an idiot wants my name on a piece of paper?” he said with a grimace.
Rooney’s retirement didn’t come as a surprise after the network announced earlier in the week that the Albany-native was leaving the program.
Said Rooney: “All this time, I’ve been paid to say what’s on my mind on television. You don’t get any luckier than that. This is a moment I’ve dreaded. I wish I could do this forever. I can’t, though.”
The former commentator had been a contributor for “60 Minutes” since its inception in 1968. His full-time run started 10 years later with a segment reporting on automobile deaths that aired on Fourth of July weekend in 1978.
He first joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts”—which was the No. 1 show on television in 1952.
Rooney was born Jan. 14, 1919 in Albany, and attended Colgate University. He was drafted into the Army in 1941 and in 1943, Rooney was one of six correspondents who flew with the Eighth Air Force on the first American bombing raid over Germany.
CBS said that Rooney would make sporadic appearances on “60 Minutes” in the future.