Number curiosities for Andy Rooney’s centennial birthday

By Aziz Inan | January 16, 2019 11:52am
Photo of Andy Rooney from Wikimedia Commons.

Andrew Aitken “Andy” Rooney was an Emmy Award-winning American radio and television journalist and writer who was born on January 14, 1919 in Albany, New York and died on November 4, 2011 in New York City, at age 92 [1].

Rooney grew up in Albany and attended The Albany University and Colgate Academy. In 1941, at the age of 22, he was drafted into the Army and was posted to London. There he began writing for Stars and Stripes, the US armed forces newspaper and later in the war he became one of the first US journalists to report on the Nazi concentration camps.

After the Second World War, Rooney began working as a broadcast journalist in 1949 for CBS and established a name for himself over many years as a correspondent and commentator. He was best known for his weekly broadcast segments titled, "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney," a part of the CBS News program 60 Minutes from 1978 to 2011. His final regular appearance on 60 Minutes aired on October 2, 2011, a month before his death.

Rooney made his living as a writer for 70 years. He firmly believed that a writer’s job is to tell the truth. He stated that if all the truth is known, the world will be a better place to live. He was an honest advocate and watchdog for the general population and consumers for whom he truly cared. He saw the world around him through a different lens. Rooney’s short weekly segments on 60 Minutes became a hit with the viewers. His usual wit, charm, curiosity and blunt opinion that spanned sometimes trivial everyday themes ranging from shoelaces to bottled water to current events made him original and irreplaceable.

January 14, 2019 marks Rooney’s 100th birthday and on this occasion, I constructed the following number curiosities in his honor:

1. Rooney was born on January 14 (1/14) and died on November 4 (11/4). Interestingly enough, both of these dates can simply be expressed as 114.

2. Additionally, 114 divided by the sum of its digits, namely 6, equals 19 and two 19’s put side by side gives Rooney’s birth year, 1919.

3. If Rooney’s centennial birthday 01/14/2019 is split in the middle as 0114 and 2019, and if the rightmost two digits of 2019 are reversed resulting in 2091, the sum of 2019 to 2091 yields 4110, that is, the reverse of 0114.

4. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Rooney based on English alphabet equals 92, the age Rooney died.

5. Furthermore, the product of the digits of 92 equals 18 and interestingly, Rooney’s full name, Andrew Aitken Rooney consists of 18 letters. The digits of Rooney’s 100th birthday expressed as 1/14/2019 add up to 18 too.

6. The sum of the prime factors of 92, namely 2 and 23, equals 25 and the 25th palindromic prime number is 11411. Interestingly, the day Rooney died expressed as 11/4/11 was a palindrome date. Additionally, Rooney’s last birthday before he died, his 92nd, expressed as 1/14/11 was also a palindrome date.

7. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Andy equals 44, another palindrome.

8. Moreover, 44 equals 11 x 4, that is, the product of the month and day numbers of the day Rooney died. Also, 44 equals 2 x 2 x 11 and note that the sum of 2, 2, and 11 equals the sum of 1 and 14, the month and day numbers of Rooney’s birthday, as well as the sum of 11 and 4, the month and day numbers of the date Rooney died.

9. The sum of the numbers assigned to the letters of Andy Aitken Rooney equals 196 and 196 equals 14 square. Note that Rooney’s birthday is always on the 14th day of each year.

10. Lastly, Rooney’s 114th birthday to occur in 2033 will be special since 114 represents both his birth date and the day he died. Further, the sum of the digits of 1/14/2033 equals 14.

Happy 100th birthday, Andy Rooney and I hope you rest in peace.

[1] Andy Rooney, Wikipedia

Aziz Inan is a professor and chair of the electrical engineering program teaching in the Donald P. Shiley School of Engineering at University of Portland and he can be reached at