CBS announced that the 92 year-old had suffered "serious complications" after undergoing minor surgery last week, and that he remains in hospital. At the request of the Rooney family no further details have been released.
The famously cantakerous Rooney ended his 32-year stint on '60 Minutes' just three weeks ago. After thanking viewers for their support and expressing gratitude for the success he found in life, Rooney just couldn't help adding a little of his signature crabbiness at the end: "If you do see me in a restaurant, please, just let me eat my dinner."
The news of Rooney's illness comes at a sad time for CBS News, which has been marking the end of an era with both his retirement and the death a few days ago of veteran Korean War and White House Correspondent Robert Pierpoint.
Earlier this year CBS also lost one of the few remaining newsmen who worked with Edward R. Murrow as radio news made the transition to television. Joseph Wershba, who was one of the original '60 Minutes' producers, died in May at the age of 90.
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