Andy Rooney On His Workspace


Wall Street Journal, 1998



Workspaces: Andy Rooney On His Workspace
By Ericka BlountWall Street Journal (Eastern Edition). New York, N.Y.:Feb 18, 1998.  p. B14 

[A look at the places where businesspeople work

-- WHO: Andy Rooney, 79-year-old columnist, author and commentator for CBS "60 Minutes."

-- WHERE: 524 W. 57th St. in Manhattan at the news offices of one of the CBS buildings.

-- WHAT YOU SEE: Mr. Rooney's office is not in a separate building from the rest of the "60 Minutes" staff because of his caustic personality. Rather, it stems from his need for independence. He needs time alone to think of ideas for the show while working at his Underwood typewriter that was built in 1919, the same year he was born.

Mr. Rooney sits behind a walnut desk that he made himself in his workshop. A stool he also built is used for the cameraman to sit on when taping him. A sketch of John F. Kennedy sits behind him, given to him by the late Harry Reasoner, a former "60 Minutes" correspondent. Nearby books include "Lies My Teacher Told Me," as well as copies of his own efforts: "My War," and "Word for Word." He also has a copy of "The Collected Work of Keats," although the volume is actually a faux book where he keeps petty cash for emergencies. Mr. Rooney has three phone lines, and personally answers the one that friends and colleagues are likely to use. The commentator reserves the two others for strangers. He is not particularly interested in talking to them, so his assistant answers those.

A plaque questioning whether "Andy Rooney should retire" sits on the bookshelf. It is a feisty reference to Associated Press columnist Frazier Moore's suggestion that he retire, and the strong feedback from Mr. Rooney's fans demanding he stay.

-- WHAT HE SEES: "My office is very disorderly. I suspect that creativity more often emanates from disorder than order."