Daniel M. Rooney is a former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the current chairman of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
In 2009, Ambassador Rooney was named U.S. Ambassador to Ireland by President Barack Obama. He was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland on July 1, 2009, and presented his credentials to Irish President Mary McAleese on July 3, 2009. He held the position until his resignation in December 2012.
Ambassador Rooney is well-known in Ireland as one of the founders of the American Ireland Fund which are dedicated to building bridges of peace, culture, and charity in Ireland and Northern Ireland. He has also funded the annual Rooney Prize for Irish Literature to highlight the work of Irish writers under the age of 40 and been actively involved in charities in the U.S.
Ambassador Rooney has continued the standards and tradition instilled into the Steelers organization since his father, Arthur J. Rooney, founded the team back in 1933.
Art Rooney Sr. was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964. A decade later, after having worked in every area of the organization since 1955, Dan Rooney was named president of the Steelers in 1975. As his father before him, he assumed the title of chairman in 2002, handing over the presidency to his eldest son, Arthur J. Rooney, II.
Ambassador Rooney joined his father in August of 2000 as only the second father-son tandem to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
During his tenure in the NFL, Ambassador Rooney has worked closely with NFL commissioners Rozelle, Tagliabue and Goodell, and he has provided leadership to many NFL owners’ committees.
In 2002, Ambassador Rooney was named chairman of the NFL Diversity Committee, which implemented what became known as the “Rooney Rule.” The “Rooney Rule” has drawn praise from both inside and outside the NFL for its impact in providing greater opportunities in coaching and NFL front office positions for minorities.
Daniel M. Rooney was born on Pittsburgh’s North Side in 1932, the oldest of the late Art Rooney’s five sons. He is a 1950 graduate of North Catholic High School, where he quarterbacked the varsity football team. He went on to graduate from Duquesne University in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He married Pittsburgh native Patricia Regan. They have nine children.
Ambassador Rooney’s achievements throughout his career have recently been recognized when he was awarded the Pennsylvania Association of Broadcasters’ Gold Medal Award, the Global Sports Summit Lifetime Achievement Award, and the SportsBusiness Journal’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He was inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame in 2013.