July 20, 1932 - April 13, 2017
Daniel Milton “Dan” Rooney, a former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers, passed away surrounded by members of his loving family on April 13, 2017.
Mr. Rooney, born on Pittsburgh’s North Side on July 20, 1932, a member of Saint Peter’s Church, graduated from North Catholic High School in 1950, where he quarterbacked the varsity football team. He went on to graduate from Duquesne University in 1955 with a Bachelor’s Degree in accounting.
For nearly seven decades, Mr. Rooney has held numerous positions within the Steelers organization, having worked in every area of the franchise. He was named president of the Steelers in 1975. As his father before him (Arthur Joseph Rooney, Sr.), he assumed the title of Chairman in May 2003.
Mr. Rooney joined his father in August 2000, as only the second father-son tandem to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 2002, Mr. Rooney was named chairman of the NFL Diversity Committee, which implemented what became known as the Rooney Rule. The Rooney Rule has drawn praise from both inside and outside the NFL for its impact in providing greater opportunities in coaching and NFL front office positions for minorities.
Mr. Rooney was widely recognized as one of the National Football League’s most influential executives and a peacemaker. Along with his love and dedication to the Steelers and the NFL, Mr. Rooney also dedicated himself to the community. Among the charitable organizations he served were The United Way of America, The Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation, Duquesne University, the Extra Mile Foundation, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Mr. Rooney was named U.S. Ambassador to Ireland in 2009 by President Barack Obama and he held the position until his post concluded on December 14, 2012. Mr. Rooney is well-known in Ireland as one of the founders of the American Ireland Fund which are dedicated to building bridges of peace, culture, and charity in Ireland and Northern Ireland. He and his wife Patricia also funded the annual Rooney Prize for Irish Literature to highlight the work of young Irish writers.
Daniel M. Rooney is survived by his wife of 65 years, Patricia, and seven of their nine children: Arthur II (Greta); Patricia Gerrero (Robert); the late Kathleen Miller (Thomas); the late Rita; Daniel Jr. (Allison); Mary Duffy; John (Emma); James (Stephanie); and Joan Clancy (Christopher); 20 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. He also is survived by brothers Arthur Jr. (Kathleen), Timothy (June), Patrick (Sandy), and John (JoAnn), plus numerous nieces and nephews.
The family of Mr. Rooney would like to thank the doctors and staff on the 11th Floor at UPMC Montefiore Hospital, and the staff at Vincentian Marian Manor for their wonderful care and support in his last days. The Rooney Family would also like to thank the staff of the Steelers organization for all their support through the years.
Family and friends will be received on Monday, April 17, from 2-7 p.m. at the PNC Champions Club, Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA. His life will be celebrated at a Mass of Christian Burial on April 18, at 11 a.m. at Saint Paul Cathedral, 108 North Dithridge Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213. Memorial contributions may be sent to Duquesne University or the United Way of Southwest Pennsylvania. Arrangements by DEVLIN FUNERAL HOME, INC.