(CBS News) Andy Rooney died Nov. 4, 2011, at the age of 92. The "60 Minutes" commentator was known to generations for "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney," his wry, humorous and sometimes controversial essays that he delivered at the end of "60 Minutes" from 1978 to 2011. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2003.
His "60 Minutes" essays resonated with the millions of viewers who watched him each week, making him a huge television star recognized wherever he went. Rooney, however, always considered himself a writer who happened to read his work on television. Rooney also wrote a national newspaper column for Tribune Media Services from 1979 to 2011, published articles in major magazines and authored16 books, the last of which, "Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit," was published by PublicAffairs.
"The most felicitous nonfiction writer in television" is how "Time" magazine once described Rooney, who also won the Writers Guild Award for Best Script of the Year six times, more than any other writer in the history of the medium.
Rooney's rich body of work was recognized by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists when he was presented with its Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award in June 2003. "Ernie Pyle's life and work eloquently captured the hopes and aspirations of the common man...Andy Rooney's work is in that fine tradition," said the society's president. Rooney was a friend of Pyle, the famous World War II correspondent who was felled by a sniper late in the war. They met covering the war, during which Rooney wrote for "The Stars and Stripes," a duty and body of work recognized by the Overseas Press Club when it honored him with its President's Award in 2010.
Rooney wrote his first television essay, a longer precursor of the type he perfected on "60 Minutes," in 1964, "An Essay on Doors." From 1962 to 1968, he collaborated with the late CBS News Correspondent Harry Reasoner, with Rooney writing and producing and Reasoner narrating, on such notable CBS News specials as "An Essay on Bridges" (1965), "An Essay on Hotels" (1966), "An Essay on Women" (1967), "An Essay on Chairs" (1968) and "The Strange Case of the English Language" (1968). The same year, he wrote two CBS News specials in the series "Of Black America." His script for "Black History: Lost, Stolen or Strayed" won him his first of four Emmy awards.
He first appeared as himself on television in 1971 when he left CBS News briefly to star in "The Great American Dream Machine" on PBS. That year, one of the essays he wrote and delivered on camera for the program, "An Essay on War" (1971), won Rooney his third Writers Guild Award
Rooney was a "60 Minutes" producer for Harry Reasoner during the broadcast's first few seasons. He also wrote, produced and narrated a series of broadcasts for CBS News on various aspects of America and American life, including the Peabody Award-winning "Mr. Rooney Goes to Washington," plus "Andy Rooney Takes Off," "Mr. Rooney Goes to Work" and "Mr. Rooney Goes to Dinner."
Rooney joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts," a Top 10 hit that was number one in 1952. He also wrote for "The Garry Moore Show" (1959-65), helping it to achieve hit status as a Top 20 program. At the same time, he wrote for CBS News public-affairs broadcasts such as "The Twentieth Century," "News of America," "Adventure," "Calendar" and "The Morning Show with Will Rogers, Jr."
Rooney's other books are: "Air Gunner;" "The Story of The Stars and Stripes;" "Conquerors' Peace;" "The Fortunes of War;" "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney;" "And More by Andy Rooney;" "Pieces of My Mind;" "Word for Word;" "Not That You Asked...;"" Sweet and Sour;" "My War;" "Sincerely, Andy Rooney;" "Common Nonsense;" "Years of Minutes" and "Out of My Mind."
Rooney was born Jan. 14, 1919, in Albany, N.Y. He attended Colgate University until he was drafted into the Army in 1941. In February 1943, he was one of six correspondents who flew with the 8th Air Force on the first American bombing raid over Germany. He won a Bronze Star for his reporting under fire at the Battle of St. Lo. Two of his children are television journalists: Emily appears on the Boston Public Radio station WGBH; Brian is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for CBS News.