Pittsburgh Steelers Chairman Dan Rooney passed away Thursday at the age of 84. Rooney was the son of former Steelers owner Art Rooney, and he was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000 for his contributions to the game. Not only was Rooney part of six Steelers Super Bowl Championships, he left an indelible mark on the NFL itself. That includes what became known as the "Rooney Rule", a league rule that requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for open Head Coach and GM positions, that he was credited with spearheading.
Falcons Owner Arthur Blank shared 15 years as an NFL owner with Rooney, and credits him with for making a great contribution to the game, as well as the nation. He released the following statement Thursday:
"I'm saddened to learn of Dan Rooney's passing and extend my heartfelt condolences to the entire Rooney family and everyone in the Steelers organization. Dan's immeasurable contributions to his team, our league and to our country will be a lasting legacy of a man and leader respected by so many. Personally, I'll always be grateful for the guidance and friendship he provided to me over the years."