He gained prominence as a writer for “Stars and Stripes” during World War II and was one of just six journalists who flew on the first American bombing raids of Germany.
His time on “60 Minutes” began in the summer 1978 as a replacement and filler for the recently cut debate segment, “Point/Counterpoint.” Rooney proved popular enough in his satirical musings that he became a permanent fixture of the show that fall.
He won an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for news specials he wrote for CBS News, and wrote several books, including collections of his television essays and columns.
Rooney said he always considered himself a writer who incidentally appeared on television.
He found himself in hot water many times over comments he made, including remarks about the death of Kurt Cobain, Mel Gibson’s film “The Passion of the Christ,” Hispanics in Major League Baseball and the independent film “RECOiL.”
He was survived by four children, Brian, Emily, Martha and Ellen.