Andy Rooney Gives Tearful Goodbye In His Last Ever '60 Minutes' Sign Off: 'I Wish I Could Do This Forever'

Mon, October 3, 2011 10:05am EDT by Add first Comment

After 1,097 essays, and 33 years at CBS, Andy has stepped down from his ’60 Minutes’ throne — it won’t be the same without him!

Tears streamed down my face as Andy Rooney said ‘goodbye’ during his final Sunday night sign off. The 92-year-old has made a living out of complaining over every day annoyances, but he dropped his curmudgeon act and tugged at my heartstrings during his final essay.

“I wish I could do this forever,” he said. “I can’t, though.”

I’ve grown up watching Andy deliberate over things like: Why is there cotton in our pill bottles? Why do we need watches? What’s a Lady Gaga? To more serious thoughts on war, religion, and now his life.

The New York native started out as a writer for Arthur Godfrey‘s Talent Scouts radio show in 1949 and was years later was hired as a summer replacement for 60 Minutes‘ debate segment Point/Counterpoint. Andy’s witty “end of show” segment began in 1978 and turned into a weekly Sunday night ritual for Americans. Everyone wanted to tune in to find out what or who Andy was going to take on this week.

The talented writer gave us a peek into his life and that’s when the waterworks happened for me. He talked about his late wife Marguerite Rooney, who died in 2004, and showed us pictures of his four children, grandchildren and great-grand children.

“I probably haven’t said anything here that you didn’t already know or have already thought,” he said. “That’s what a writer does. A writer’s job is to tell the truth.”