TV commentator Andy Rooney dead

TV commentator Andy Rooney dead

Rooney, icon of the popular political analysis show "60 Minutes", died Friday at a New York hospital from "complications following minor surgery" last month, CBS said in an extensive eulogy to the man and his work.

The commentator, who gave his last television essay last month, began his career in journalism during World War II and joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for an entertainment programme.

CBS said that Rooney joined the "60 Minutes" show in 1978 with some sharp-witted essays covering a wide range of subjects, from the existence of God to such current affairs in the US as unemployment and the US' controversial Middle East invasion in March 2003.

"Words cannot adequately express Andy's contribution to the world of journalism and the impact he made - as a colleague and friend - upon everyone at CBS," Leslie Moonves, president and CEO of CBS Corporation, was cited as saying on the CNN web site.

"His wry wit, his unique ability to capture the essence of any issue, and his larger-than-life personality made him an icon, not only within the industry but among readers and viewers around the globe," he said.

Rooney lived in Manhattan, though he had properties in Rensselaerville, New York, and in Rowayton, Connecticut. His wife Marguerite, with whom he was married for 62 years, died of a heart attack in 2004.

He is survived by four children, and the network said that the funeral services will be private but did not say when they will be held.

The winner of four Emmy Awards, Rooney was with the network for 60 years, 30 of them behind the cameras as a writer and producer before becoming a familiar face in homes across the US, CBS said.

"It's a sad day at '60 Minutes' and for everybody here at CBS News," said Jeff Fager, chairman of CBS News and the executive producer of "60 Minutes".

"It's hard to imagine not having Andy around. He loved his life and he lived it on his own terms. We will miss him very much," he said.