It was a tradition in my family each Sunday night to order a Coccia House pizza and watch “60 Minutes.” Those Sunday nights shaped my love for journalism, and I can’t help but think that Andy Rooney’s rants played some part in that.
Rooney — who started his journalism career as a World War II correspondent for The Stars and Stripes — died today at the age of 92, just a few weeks after retiring from the show.
He delivered 1,097 essays during his tenure on “60 Minutes,” tackling issues such as the annoying amount of cotton placed in pill bottles and his own bushy eyebrows. He was controversial and cutting, and some of his pieces rubbed many the wrong way. (Including a 1994 piece on the suicide of Seattle grunge rocker Kurt Cobain in which he asked rhetorically: “What’s all this nonsense about how terrible life is?”).
But it was an essay on another Seattle icon that will likely be remembered by technology geeks. Rooney’s piece on Windows and Bill Gates has to go down as one of the classic technology rants of all time. Rooney notes of Gates:
“Someone screwed up the way computers work and I blame it on him.” Here’s the full piece:
Rooney was such an iconic figure that The New York Times’ technology columnist David Pogue channeled the “60 Minutes” correspondent in this piece.