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Andy Rooney’s kids splitting his $9 million estate

Published: March 5, 2012 | 9:06 am
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’60 Minutes’ correspondent died at 92

The late “60 Minutes” commentator Andy Rooney was best known for his curmudgeonly complaining, but it turns out he had 9 million reasons to be cheerful.

A will filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court reveals the CBS veteran — who died in November at age 92 — left behind $8 million in stocks, bonds and cash and $1 million in property.

The estate — including a garageful of old stuff — will be split simply among his four children.

“He wasn’t into fancy estate planning,” said his son, Brian Rooney, a television correspondent in California.

He said his father amassed the fortune by living frugally and working until a month before he died.

Starting as a copyboy for the Knickerbocker News in Albany, Rooney was a writer and producer on radio and then television for seven decades.

He wrote more than a dozen books, countless newspaper columns and 1,097 commentaries for “60 Minutes,” the gig that made him a household name and voice.

“Some years he made more money than others. When he made it, he stashed it away. He could have had a $50 million estate if he’d paid attention to it,” his son said.

He said his father, a child of the Depression era, learned the value of saving and not overspending.

“He was not a guy to pay for services,” he said, adding that the newsman shined his own shoes, washed his car, made ice cream and didn’t start taking taxis until he was 90.

“Dinner with Dad meant we’d get in his car and drive 30 blocks to the restaurant. If he couldn’t get (street) parking there, we’d go to a restaurant where he could park,” he said.

Rooney’s will showed he had a house in Connecticut; a summer home in Rensselaerville, N.Y.; and a financial stake in assorted partnerships.

His beneficiaries are his son and three daughters — Emily Rooney of Boston, Martha Fishel of Chevy Chase, Md., and Ellen Rooney of London.

Rooney said that before his father died, he arranged to send more than 100 cartons of his professional papers to the University of Texas in Austin.

“But he never cleaned out the garage,” he said.


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