One thing that sets the journalism profession apart from other fields: Actively working --- whether on staff, writing books or freelancing --- into the 80s or 90s is no big deal, cites Grumpy Editor.
As examples this week, Robert (Bob) Miller, 87, marked his 60th anniversary at the Dallas Morning News while Andy Rooney, at 92 and senior member of CBS’ 60 Minutes, on Sunday will announce his departure as a regular on the long-running program.
Well before computer days, both depended on typewriters to grind out copy, making sure to utilize carbon copies. Sometimes at newspapers up to six carbon copies were used in a “book” inserted in typewriters. Copies of the text were sent to various desks, with one retained by the writer.
Miller, who started at DMN in 1951, was an assistant city editor when the JFK assassination occurred in his city. He later became city editor and now is business columnist. With tributes from colleagues on Monday, it was pointed out that “he has lasted longer than any other full-time employee in our 126-year history.”
Rooney on Sunday will deliver his 1,097th essay for 60 Minutes. That’s something he has been doing in closing minutes of the program since July, 1978, when he tackled misleading reporting of auto fatalities on the Fourth of July weekend.
He joined CBS in 1949 as a writer for “Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts” and later wrote for “The Garry Moore Show,” a variety program.
During World War II, Rooney was a staffer on Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper distributed to troops.
Jeff Fager, CBS News chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer, said Rooney “will always have the ability to speak his mind on 60 Minutes when the urge hits him.”