Pittsburgh Steelers legend Dan Rooney dies at 84

By Alex Butler  |  April 13, 2017 at 4:38 PM
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April 13 (UPI) -- NFL players mourned Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney Thursday after his death. He was 84-years-old.

The Steelers announced the news at about 4 p.m.. Its official website is temporarily set as a memorial for Rooney.

The football legend wasn't only the chairman of the Steelers. In 2009, Barack Obama appointed him as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland.

Rooney was the son of Steelers founder Art Rooney. He was a part owner of the team since 1988. Rooney joined the franchise in an official capacity in 1960, after graduating from Duquesne University. He became the team's president in 1975.

Rooney will never be forgotten due to the legacy he left on the game. He helped end a players strike and create the salary cap. He also invented the "Rooney Rule," in an effort to have more minority coaches in the NFL.

Seventeen minority head coaches have been hired since 2003.

The Steelers also became NFL royalty during his tenure, hiring Chuck Noll and winning six Super Bowls. The franchise won four titles in six seasons in the 1970s.

In 2000, Rooney was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"RIP Dan. My Mentor & friend," former Steelers coach Bill Cowher tweeted. "Thank you for your Guidance & Wisdom. I came a Young Coach & left a Better Man. Your spirit will live forever."

"Prayers to the Rooney family. Mr. Rooney always took time to welcome our crew and visit whenever in Pittsburgh for Steelers game. #gentleman," Troy Aikman tweeted.

Dan and his wife Patricia had nine children. His son, Art Rooney II, currently controls the Steelers.

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