Andy Rooney, the “60 Minutes” commentator known to generations for his wry, humorous and contentious television essays, died Friday night in a hospital in New York City of complications following minor surgery. He was 92.


Rooney announced on October 2, 2011, in his 1,097th essay for “60 Minutes” that he would no longer appear regularly. Rooney wrote for television since its birth, spending more than 60 years at CBS, 30 of them behind the camera as a writer and producer, first for entertainment and then news programming, before becoming a television personality. He was also a writer and the author of best-selling books and a national newspaper column, in addition to his “60 Minutes” essays. Here are some words of wisdom from Rooney, quotes from among millions that were shared on the CBS Sunday evening show:


  • “We’re all proud of making little mistakes. It gives us the feeling we don’t make any big ones.”
  • “I didn’t get old on purpose. It just happened. If you’re lucky, it could happen to you.”
  • “All men are not created equal but should be treated as though they were under the law.”
  • “Anyone who watches golf on television would enjoy watching the grass grow on the greens.”
  • “Computers make it easier to do a lot of things, but most of the things they make it easier to do don’t need to be done.”
  • “Computers may save time but they sure waste a lot of paper. About 98 percent of everything printed out by a computer is garbage that no one ever reads.”
  • “Death is a distant rumor to the young.”
  • “Don’t rule out working with your hands. It does not preclude using your head.”
  • “Elephants and grandchildren never forget.”
  • “Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens.”
  • “I don’t like food that’s too carefully arranged; it makes me think that the chef is spending too much time arranging and not enough time cooking. If I wanted a picture I’d buy a painting.”
  • “I don’t pick subjects as much as they pick me.”
  • “I don’t think the government is out to get me or help someone else get me, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they were out to sell me something or help someone else sell me something. I mean, why else would the Census Bureau want to know my telephone number?”
  • “I like ice hockey, but it’s a frustrating game to watch. It’s hard to keep your eyes on both the puck and the players and too much time passes between scoring in hockey. There are usually more fights than there are points.”
  • “If dogs could talk it would take a lot of the fun out of owning one.”
  • “If you smile when no one else is around, you really mean it.”
  • “Making duplicate copies and computer printouts of things no one wanted even one of in the first place is giving America a new sense of purpose.”