Steelers’ chairman Dan Rooney dies at 84


Delaney Hassell

Pittsburgh Steelers’ chairman Dan Rooney has passed away today at the age of 84, according to WPXI.

At Robert Morris University’s 92nd commencement ceremony on Friday, May 5, the university had planned to award Dan, and his wife, Pat Rooney, Trustee emerita, with an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

The university said in a press release that this was “for their founding and continued support of the Rooney International Scholars Program at RMU.”

According to an RMU spokesman, it is unclear whether or not Dan Rooney will still receive this honor, as it is to be determined under the circumstances. RMU officials will decide what will happen, though it likely that he will receive it along with his wife.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin will also be awarded the honorary doctorate of humane letters, and he will be the keynote speaker at the graduate commencement ceremony.

Rooney was born in 1932. WPXI reports that he graduated with a degree in accounting from Duquesne University.

Rooney initially got involved with the Steelers first working with player personnel before accompanying his dad to manage the team.

He became the team president in 1975, chairing several committees, taking the lead on ending the players’ strike and aiding in the creation of the salary cap in 1993, according to WPXI.

“I think it would be keeping the Steelers in Pittsburgh in a viable way, playing good football, you know, realizing the fans are why we’re here,” he said, according to WPXI.

Rooney was also a man who didn’t forget his Irish roots. Under the Obama Administration, he was named the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

“He and his family are as gracious and thoughtful a group of people as I know and so I know that he is just going to do an outstanding job,” Obama said about the appointment, reports WPXI.