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Dan Rooney dies at 84

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The Steelers announced the death of team chairman Dan Rooney at the age of 84 on Thursday afternoon.

As the eldest son of franchise founder Art Rooney, Dan Rooney spent his entire life around the Steelers and steadily took on more of the responsibility for running the franchise throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. He was named team president in 1975 amid the team’s run of four Super Bowl titles in six years behind coach Chuck Noll, who Rooney had a heavy hand in hiring, and players brought into the franchise under his direction.

Rooney assumed the chairman role when his father died in 1988 and remained heavily involved with the team until being named the United States Ambassdor to Ireland by President Obama in 2009. He served in that role until 2012. That long and stable run in control of the team was duplicated on the sideline as Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin are the only men to coach the Steelers since 1969. All three coached Super Bowl winners and the Steelers have had just 10 losing seasons since Noll took over.

His impact on the league can be felt with the existence of the Rooney Rule, which was instituted in 2000 and requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and General Manager jobs. He was active in several other aspects of league affairs, including negotiating television deals as far back as the early 1960s and working to end work stoppages in the 1980s.

Our condolences to the Rooney and Steelers families on their loss.

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75 Responses to “Dan Rooney dies at 84”
  1. seatownballers says: Apr 13, 2017 4:17 PM

    Rest in peace. You lived a great life. Thanks for bringing the heart, love, and devotion to my favourite sport

  2. wib22 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:19 PM

    Agreed. Hopefully the patriots fans stay classy here.

  3. scoops1 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:19 PM

    His impact on the league can be felt with the existence of the Rooney Rule, which was instituted in 2000 and requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and General Manager jobs.

    —————————————————-

    Should have been known as the Al Davis Rule.

    He is the originator of this practice and its overlooked

  4. brownoholic says: Apr 13, 2017 4:19 PM

    Godspeed, Mr. Rooney.
    Definition of class.

  5. joetoronto says: Apr 13, 2017 4:19 PM

    RIP, Mr Rooney. All the best to the family.

  6. bestinafcnorth says: Apr 13, 2017 4:20 PM

    NFL’S GREATEST OWNER

  7. 30male says: Apr 13, 2017 4:20 PM

    Niners fan here, and I’m heart-broken. Great owner. Great man.

  8. unbreakable02215 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:20 PM

    Sad day for Stiller Nation. Condolences. He was great for the League.

    -Pats Fan

  9. navyvandal says: Apr 13, 2017 4:22 PM

    R.I.P. Solid ownership top to bottom from that organization. DECADES of fluidity.

    -Patriots Nation.

  10. notwhoyouthinkitis says: Apr 13, 2017 4:23 PM

    Rooney turned the Steelers around when he talked his father Art into hiring Chuck Noll. The Steelers would not be constant contenders year after year (it’s been well over a decade since they had a losing season) without his efforts and decisions. And he was great for the league and the city of Pittsburgh too.

  11. metalup666 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:24 PM

    RIP. Condolences to his family and Steeler Nation.

    Cowboys fan

  12. rickypoo1969 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:26 PM

    Sad sad day. Huge loss for everyone who loves football. RIP.

  13. butwhatdoesthishavetodowithtonyromo says: Apr 13, 2017 4:26 PM

    Tony Romo sends his condolences.

  14. karmathaitch says: Apr 13, 2017 4:27 PM

    Don Rickles, Charlie Murphy , J Giles now Mr. Rooney. What a crazy week!

    Thank you Mr. Rooney and thank you all for the awesome memories!

  15. trollaikman8 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:28 PM

    A great owner – last of a great generation.

  16. ninerfan81 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:28 PM

    Sad day for all NFL fans. He was a class act.

  17. dipstixx says: Apr 13, 2017 4:29 PM

    Mr. Rooney rest in peace from a Pat’s fan.

  18. jimmysee says: Apr 13, 2017 4:31 PM

    The NFL is built on the shoulders of men like Dan.

  19. sdelmonte says: Apr 13, 2017 4:31 PM

    That rare man whose father was a legend and who managed to exceed the father’s accomplishments. He leaves huge cleats to fill and will be missed.

  20. nestrongsafety says: Apr 13, 2017 4:31 PM

    Great football presence and his impact on the game will be felt for decades. Condolences to the Steeler organization and their fans.

  21. newmancave2016 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:35 PM

    RIP.

  22. badboysgetspanked says: Apr 13, 2017 4:35 PM

    He and his family deserve to be recognized as pioneers of the modern NFL. He will be missed. RIP!

  23. bullcharger says: Apr 13, 2017 4:36 PM

    Rest in peace. Great owner, great ambassador for the game.

  24. notwhoyouthinkitis says: Apr 13, 2017 4:39 PM

    One thing that has not been mentioned about Rooney was his enormous respect for his opponents…other teams, other players, fans and other owners. Whether you agreed with him or not, he wanted to do what was best for the league.

  25. stevev44 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:39 PM

    I once covered Steelers training camp, for just a couple of weeks, for a few seasons in a row. Dan Rooney made a point to walk over and introduce himself, and came to me to shake my hand, every year. When he saw me in the morning—one year, I stayed in a dorm on-site—he waved at me from across the field and came over, for a few minutes, to talk. I was from the smallest newspaper in the world. He was all class.

  26. Editor says: Apr 13, 2017 4:44 PM

    Class Act all the way. Being a Ravens fan you always had respect for the Rooney Family and the way they ran the organization. Don’t change coaches every 5 years and the loyalty from the coaches to the players shows.

  27. badboysgetspanked says: Apr 13, 2017 4:46 PM

    That rare man whose father was a legend and who managed to exceed the father’s accomplishments. He leaves huge cleats to fill and will be missed.

    Very well said!

  28. dalfanforever says: Apr 13, 2017 4:47 PM

    He was one of the good ones. RIP Sir. Condolences from Cowboys Nation.

  29. kifleheimer says: Apr 13, 2017 4:51 PM

    He and his father juiced their players to the gills for decades now. Good riddance to a classless cheater.

  30. fjw2 says: Apr 13, 2017 4:53 PM

    A sad day for Steelers fans, and football fans from all over.

    -Pats fan.

  31. finsbooyah says: Apr 13, 2017 4:53 PM

    He was one of the good ones. A true football pioneer and all-around class-act. It’s a sad day for football fans.

  32. hillarystandswhenshepees says: Apr 13, 2017 4:54 PM

    Back when owners had balls.

  33. mysportsrumors says: Apr 13, 2017 4:55 PM

    In his honor they should perfect the Rooney Rule instead of what it currently is. Such a good intentioned rule that is so poorly executed

  34. u4iadman says: Apr 13, 2017 4:56 PM

    Should be Al Davis Rule…dude started it all for equality.

  35. 345snarkavenue says: Apr 13, 2017 4:56 PM

    Rest in peace Mr. Rooney. My condolences to the Rooney family and family’s friends, and to the people in the Steelers organization, their players, and their fans everywhere.

    Patriots fan

  36. broncoschick says: Apr 13, 2017 4:57 PM

    Respect

  37. kwjsb says: Apr 13, 2017 4:57 PM

    Rooney, during realignment insisted that the Steelers and Browns both move to the AFC and they had to stay in the same conference…….smart man that understood the fan base.

  38. clashpoint says: Apr 13, 2017 5:00 PM

    Him and his dad are smoking cigars together right now, assuming heaven sets aside a designated smoking cloud. Thanks for who you were and all you did, Dan.

    Go Steelers!

  39. mmmpierogi says: Apr 13, 2017 5:01 PM

    Yesterday Charlie Murphy, today Dan Rooney. When it rains, it pours. RIP.

  40. jburns52 says: Apr 13, 2017 5:02 PM

    Rest in peace sir. The utmost respect from this Ravens fan

  41. fwippel says: Apr 13, 2017 5:04 PM

    Sorry to see this. Rest in peace, Mr. Rooney.

  42. badboysgetspanked says: Apr 13, 2017 5:06 PM

    Meanwhile, Jerrah is laughing knowing he just scored more power with the remaining owners. Jerrah your exit interview is coming.

  43. maust1013 says: Apr 13, 2017 5:08 PM

    Condolences to the Rooney family and Steeler nation on the passing of a true legend. As fans we dog each other’s teams but no fan of the NFL should ever fail to give props to the Rooney and Mara families. Our teams play in the league they built and that on occasion Wellington Mara and Art and Dan Rooney sometimes kept afloat at their own expense.

    A Pats fan

  44. pfttrollss says: Apr 13, 2017 5:08 PM

    Pats fan here. He was classy all around. RIP.

  45. ampatsisahypocrite says: Apr 13, 2017 5:09 PM

    scoops1 says:
    Apr 13, 2017 4:19 PM

    Should have been known as the Al Davis Rule.

    He is the originator of this practice and its overlooked
    —————————————–

    Keep in mind the Rooneys were also the first owners to hire a black man to be their director of scouting, back in the 1960s (a key reason they plucked out so many gems from black colleges). They were far ahead of their time when it came to being equal opportunity employers.

  46. 'boys4life says: Apr 13, 2017 5:18 PM

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T

  47. goooooobrowns says: Apr 13, 2017 5:26 PM

    As a Browns fan I can say he was a class act when the Browns left Cleveland and throughout. Condolences to the family.

  48. sjd1234 says: Apr 13, 2017 5:26 PM

    Browns Fan. Hate the Steelers. But Completely respect the team and the Rooneys. Will never forget it was just he and Ralph Wilson as the only ones to vote “no” on the browns move in the 90’s. class man. RIP.

  49. chieftaindawg says: Apr 13, 2017 5:27 PM

    Stable ownership and a great legacy of success. I’m a pats fan. The rooneys are NFL royalty. God bless.

  50. brettfavreisapacker4ever says: Apr 13, 2017 5:28 PM

    Rooney, An intrigal part of NFL lore and history.
    He’ll be missed but not forgotten.

    Packer fan.

  51. jag1959 says: Apr 13, 2017 5:31 PM

    Dan Rooney was one of the greats. Condolences from the land of the Giants

  52. hutson14 says: Apr 13, 2017 5:37 PM

    The NFL lost a great person. Condolences to the Rooney family and Steelers fans.

  53. steelcurtainn says: Apr 13, 2017 5:38 PM

    Great man who will never be forgotten. The Steelers will claim another championship for you Mr. Rooney.

  54. nflnhlrulznbasux says: Apr 13, 2017 5:43 PM

    Ed Spider, Mike Ilitch, Rooney, these classy, community minded , sports leaders are and will be missed.
    RIP

  55. diehardfootballfan says: Apr 13, 2017 5:44 PM

    Great man. RIP Mr. Rooney. I am sad to see him go.

  56. glac1 says: Apr 13, 2017 5:48 PM

    RIP Nothing better then the oldest original teams in the league. It was their vision with things like revenue sharing, etc that made the league what it is today…

  57. scw1993 says: Apr 13, 2017 5:50 PM

    A true pioneer, may he rest in peace. My sympathy to his family and all Steelers fans, God bless all of you.

    Pats fan.

  58. ghostrider45 says: Apr 13, 2017 5:54 PM

    Well maybe the refs won’t give them so many games now.

  59. marcrayray says: Apr 13, 2017 6:16 PM

    Ravens fan. Respect from here

  60. jazzawakens says: Apr 13, 2017 6:20 PM

    Rip. Best wishes to the family.

  61. crownofthehelmet says: Apr 13, 2017 6:23 PM

    Us fans owe many a happy Sunday to Mr Rooney. No doubt that right now God is considering him for Chairman of Heaven.

  62. More Cowbell says: Apr 13, 2017 6:28 PM

    RIP. Condolences to the Rooney family and to Steeler Nation on your loss from this Patriots fan.

  63. twoteamsforlosangeles says: Apr 13, 2017 6:33 PM

    Football suffered a great loss today. RIP Dan, and prayers and condolences to his family. May his legacy forever endure.

  64. mrboado says: Apr 13, 2017 6:46 PM

    Godspeed. Condolences to the Rooney family.

  65. lp0320 says: Apr 13, 2017 7:07 PM

    Class act, Dan Rooney – his dad may have founded the team, but Dan Rooney ‘owned’ them . . . he was absolutely the brains behind the organization . . . but he was also such a humanitarian and benefactor to so many.

    You will be missed Mr. Rooney. RIP.

  66. lawrenceofalabia says: Apr 13, 2017 7:11 PM

    Great owner and an even greater man.

  67. FinFan68 says: Apr 13, 2017 7:21 PM

    My condolences to the Rooney family, Pittsburgh Steelers and their fans. The league lost a great stalwart.

    To the classless losers that come out to troll or down-vote supportive comments…Grow up.

  68. TheCommish says: Apr 13, 2017 7:23 PM

    Great man. Great influence on the league. 100% class.

    Rest in peace.

  69. Deb says: Apr 13, 2017 7:27 PM

    Heartbreaking day for Steeler Nation. We’ve been blessed to have such a gracious individual and a man with such a brilliant football mind in the owner’s chair. Deepest condolences to the Rooney family. RIP

  70. styro1 says: Apr 13, 2017 7:33 PM

    RIP Mr Rooney you will be missed.
    His family, the Steelers and their fans have my heartfelt sympathies on their loss.
    Pats Fan

  71. kingpel says: Apr 13, 2017 7:51 PM

    It starts at the top…

    RIP Mr. Rooney

  72. celticsforever says: Apr 13, 2017 9:02 PM

    With any luck his “rule” suffered the same fate as him.

  73. JaredJayden says: Apr 13, 2017 10:24 PM

    Always sad to see a Legend pass away.

    RIP.

  74. finnymcphin says: Apr 13, 2017 10:42 PM

    When it comes to Dan Rooney the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. He was not only a great steward of his own father’s legacy but of the game itself.
    This Dolphin fan sends his sympathies to the family, team and fans.

    We all have some idiots included in and amongst our fellow fans. As a football ‘nation’ Dolphans apologize to all of you for wib22 and his classless misplaced jab at Pats fans that had no place here

  75. 1historian says: Apr 14, 2017 8:35 AM

    Thanks for all you did Mr. Rooney.

    I will have a Mass offered for you.

    Pats fan

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