Friday, 14 April 2017 : Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney died on Thursday, the team announced. He was 84.
Rooney was admitted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. He served as general manager of the club from 1975-2003.
Rooney’s father, Art, purchased the Steelers in 1933 and the family has run the team since that time. Pittsburgh has won six Super Bowl titles under the family’s leadership.
“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 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 this extraordinary man.”
Rooney also led the charge of identifying minority head-coaching candidates while leading the league’s diversity meeting. The edict that teams with openings must interview at least one minority candidate became known as the “Rooney Rule.”
When the Steelers needed a coach after the resignation of Bill Cowher following the 2006, they hired Mike Tomlin, the first black coach in franchise history.
Rooney also was a key figure in helping end the 57-day players’ strike in 1982.
His first job with the club was as a water boy at 12. He graduated from Duquesne in 1955 and started working in the front office, leading to his eventual stint as the general manager.
More recently, Rooney served as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland from 2009-12.
Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is among the owners saddened by Rooney’s passing.
Source : Internet