Steelers’ patriarch Dan Rooney honored by Matzie resolution

HARRISBURG, Oct. 4 – The life and achievements of Pittsburgh Steelers patriarch Dan Rooney, a western Pennsylvania sports legend who died in April, were celebrated by a condolence resolution put forth by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny, and approved by the House today.

Matzie’s H.R. 499 recognized Rooney, a key figure in the Steelers’ rise to NFL prominence starting in the 1970s, for contributions that went beyond his notable success in the sports world.

“The late Dan Rooney was a philanthropist, businessman, pioneer of equality, architect of the modern NFL and U.S. ambassador to Ireland,” Matzie said. “Few Pennsylvania natives have been as admired or beloved as he was.”

Matzie said that Rooney, who started running the team in the 1960s, helped turn a perennial also-ran into a championship-caliber operation that won four Super Bowls in a six-year span in the 1970s.

Matzie added that the winning imprimatur stamped on the franchise by Rooney, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000, resulting in the Steelers winning two more NFL championship trophies in that decade.

“Dan Rooney was, quite simply, a legend whose influence extended far beyond Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania,” Matzie said. “It is my privilege to honor him in this way.”

Rooney, who held the title of team chairman, died at age 84 on April 13. 

EDITORS/ASSIGNMENT DESKS: An audio clip of Rep. Matzie discussing H.R. 499 is available HERE.