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Dan Rooney Dies: Pittsburgh Steelers Owner Was 84

Image: Dan Rooney Dies: Pittsburgh Steelers Owner Was 84

Dan Rooney, team owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers, looks on against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 13 Apr 2017 05:28 PM

Pittsburgh Steelers owner and chairman Dan Rooney died Thursday at the age of 84.

Rooney was considered a top influential and popular NFL executive who made many contributions to the game. He took over leadership of the team in the 1960s from his father, Art, the original franchise owner.

Rooney's Steelers won four Super Bowl championships in six years and he was very involved in the 1974 draft, which saw the Steelers pick four who men would later go on to be Hall of Famers: Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster.

Rooney later supported and encouraged diversity of coaching in the NFL, creating the “Rooney Rule” in 2003 that said teams had to interview at least one minority for head coaching and senior football operations jobs. Since the rule was made, twice as many minority coaches have been hired by teams than had been since 1920 when the NFL was formed.

Rooney also was named Ambassador to Ireland in 2009 by former President Barack Obama, a position he started at age 77 and held for three years before resigning.

The Steelers owner might have been powerful in NFL circles, but he conducted himself with humility and showed up to work every day.

“He epitomized Pittsburgh — hard-working, humble, no-nonsense, tell it the way it is and never forget where he came from. That’s him, that’s Pittsburgh,” former coach Bill Cowher said, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Rooney had nine children with wife Patricia.

Twitter users posted dozens of RIP and condolence messages about how great Rooney was and how much he will be missed.

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Pittsburgh Steelers owner and chairman Dan Rooney died Thursday at the age of 84. Rooney was considered a top influential and popular NFL executive who made many contributions to the game.
dan rooney, dies, steelers, owner
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2017-28-13
Thursday, 13 Apr 2017 05:28 PM
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