Steelers Dan Rooney gone at 84

Pittsburgh, Pa - Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney has died, the team confirmed Thursday.  He was 84.  

The Chief, Art Rooney, was the long-time beloved owner of the Steelers, but it was Dan who made a lot of the decisions that turned Pittsburgh into a city of champions.

Dan Rooney played a large role in the Steelers 1974 draft class, which helped propel the team for four Super Bowl victories.  That draft class, often considered the greatest in NFL History, included the likes of Jack Lambert, Lynn Swann, and John Stallworth.

Rooney worked hard with NFL owners to push the lead forward. Among his many accomplishments was the establishment of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview minority candidates for coaching jobs.

He took some time away from football when former President Obama appointed Rooney U.S. ambassador of Ireland in 2009.

 

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released the following statement:

"Few men have contributed as much to the National Football League as Dan Rooney. A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was one of the finest men in the history of our game and it was a privilege to work alongside him for so many years. Dan's dedication to the game, to the players and coaches, to his beloved Pittsburgh, and to Steelers fans everywhere was unparalleled. He was a role model and trusted and trusted colleague to commissioners since Bert Bell, countless NFL owners, and so many others in and out of the NFL. A voice of reason on a wide range of topics, including diversity and labor relations, Dan always had the league's best interests at heart. For my part, Dan's friendship and counsel were both inspiring and irreplaceable. My heart goes out to Patricia, Art, and the entire Rooney family on the loss of the extraordinary man."

 

Dan Rooney was born July 20, 1932 just one  year before his father purchased the Steelers franchise. Rooney played football for North Catholic High School alongside Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas.  

He went onto Duquesne University began working for his father.  Rooney became the president of the Steelers in 1975.  His son, Art Rooney II, took over that role in 2003.

Rooney is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

 

 


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