The Washington Post

Andy Rooney’s desk donated to the Newseum

Andy Rooney’s commentaries on “60 Minutes” became appointment television for many years, and for many fans.

Andy Rooney delivered his essays and rants from the office desk he built himself. Now it’s headed to the Newseum. (Associated Press/CBS)

Telephone books, medicine bottles, junk mail.

His 6 feet long desk, which Rooney built himself, has been donated by his family to the Newseum, the museum announced Thursday. Along with the walnut desk, the family is giving the museum his Underwood #5 typewriter and his packed bookshelves, longer and taller than the desk.

The museum collections staff didn’t hesitate to accept the gift.

‘We knew straight up that this was the kind of thing we would want,” said curator Carrie Christoffersen. “It is a piece of broadcast history and journalism history that we would want to take care of.”

Rooney was 92 when he died last year. Sixty years of his long career, beginning with a stint at Stars and Stripes in World War II, were spent at CBS.

The gift, said Christoffersen, speaks to his standing as “a household name.” “It also relates to a critical show in the history of broadcast journalism. It is the model for the news magazine shows out there. And broadly it speaks to the notion of being able to integrate hard news and commentary into broadcasting,” she said.

The Newseum doesn’t have immediate plans to display the Rooney artifacts.

In his last commentary, Rooney talked about how lucky he was.


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