Birth Date: January 14, 1919 / Age: 96
Birth Place: Albany, New York
Biography: He began his career in newspapers, writing for Stars and Stripes in the European Theater during World War II. Rooney also was a freelance writer and a television script writer before joining 60 Minutes.
Though originally a regular correspondent, Rooney now has his own "end of show" segment, in which he offers a light-hearted editorial on a trivial everyday issue, such as the cost of groceries, annoying relatives, or faulty Christmas presents. Rooney has always considered himself a writer who appears on television.
"Rooney wrote his first television essay, a longer-length precursor of the type he does on 60 Minutes, in 1964, “An Essay on Doors.” From 1962 to 1968, he collaborated with the late CBS News Correspondent Harry Reasoner - Rooney writing and producing, 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). “An Essay on War” (1971) won Rooney his third Writers Guild Award. In 1968, 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 Emmy." (Source: CBS News)
His mini-rants have been archived in numerous books, such as Common Nonsense, which came out in 2002, and Years of Minutes, released in 2003. He also has a regular syndicated newspaper column that runs in many newspapers in the United States. He’s won three Emmy Awards for his essays, which now number more than 800. He was also awarded a Lifetime Achievement Emmy.
Rooney is popularly thought to be an atheist based on a series of comments he made regarding Mel Gibson's film The Passion of the Christ. In public comments, he has described himself as an agnostic. He has admitted on Larry King Live to having a liberal bias