Steve Hartman on Andy Rooney

I can only imagine what Andy Rooney would say about this, about obituaries in general: "The problem is you're never around to hear 'em" - that's what he'd say. And he really was like that.

I'll never forget the first time I met Andy. I wanted to get him to sign one of his books to my dad.

Andy never signed autographs - he didn't want to sign some scrap of paper that you were just going to forget in your pocket and put through the wash.

But he would sign his books, so I walked into his office, which was like walking into your TV screen. What you saw in person was exactly what you saw on Sunday night. That desk was his desk. He actually built it.

And Andy was definitely Andy.

I pointed out this little leather box he had on the floor. I told him I liked it - and his response was, I'll never forget, he said, "You know, I like things you can put things in."

I remember thinking to myself, "Who structures a sentence like that in regular conversation?" But that's how he talked. That's how his mind worked.

It's partly how he was able to take the most mundane topics and make the most entertaining television.

That unique style - combined with his curmudgeony take on everything - made him the watched part of the most watched program in TV history.

Over the course of his career, Andy did 1,097 of these essays.

The last one aired just a few weeks ago.

As for who will take his spot on "60 Minutes"? Management at CBS has made it clear - they have no plans to replace him with anyone.

Which just proves what most of us knew all along - there will never be another Andy Rooney.

  • Steve Hartman

    Steve Hartman has been a CBS News correspondent since 1998, having served as a part-time correspondent for the previous two years.

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