The NFL felt the passing of longtime Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney this week, with many fellow owners, players, former players and people associated with the NFL making statements about his loss. The team announced his death Thursday.
His father, Art Rooney, founded the Steelers in 1933.
Mr. Rooney officially succeeded his father as president of the Steelers in 1975, the same year the team won its first of six Super Bowl titles.
"It is a sad day for my family and me", Art Rooney II said in a statement. He also praised Rooney on being a tremendous family man.
"When you talk about the "Rooney Rule", and giving everyone a chance to interview for these jobs that's a credit to Mr. Rooney and his incredible legacy".More news: Now confused Ken claims Jewish News SUPPORTS his case
"In 2007, Mr. Rooney afforded me the opportunity to lead the football team he helped guide throughout his life".
The Pittsburgh Penguins will honor Dan Rooney by wearing special helmet decals tonight.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Rooney "one of the finest men in the history of our game", adding Rooney's "dedication to the game, to the players and the coaches, to his beloved Pittsburgh, and to Steelers fans everywhere was unparalleled". It required that all National Football League teams searching for head coaches interview at least one minority candidate for the job opening. He was also one of Obama's biggest supporters. He said Rooney's values were based in "America, Ireland and his church".
Rooney played quarterback and halfback at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh and for a while he considered joining the priesthood. He shaped the league with instincts, wisdom and a soft-spoken velvet touch.
Rooney is survived by his wife Patricia and seven of their nine children.