Chiefs owner Clark Hunt says Steelers' Dan Rooney shaped the NFL

Steelers owner Dan Rooney lofts the Vince Lombardi Trophy after Pittsburgh beat the Seattle Seahawks to win Super Bowl XL in 2006

RIP Mr. Rooney. The legacy you left this city will never be forgotten. He was the US Ambassador to Ireland and once held court with the Pope. Among his contributions to the league was the Rooney Rule, which required NFL teams to interview minority candidates for coaching and front-office positions.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Dan Rooney was the rare man of power and influence who never forgot to be kind as well.

Pitt will honor late Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney during its spring game on Saturday.

Mr Rooney, whose family is originally from Newry, was appointed as US Ambassador in 2009 by then US President Barack Obama. Rooney, a devout Catholic, often worshipped at the cathedral. The son of Steelers' founder Art Rooney, he was one of the most beloved sports figures of the last few decades, repeatedly earning praise from coaches, players, fans and the media for his role in the game football and much more.

Rooney and the Steelers adjusted over the years as roster-building was complicated by the salary cap and free agency. "The importance of faith, family and football permeates the entire organization". "Dan Rooney and his family, like the Maras, provided the foundation for the National Football League that we all see today", Giants chairman and executive vie president Steve Tisch said in a separate statement. He said Rooney's values were based in "America, Ireland and his church". He was at home on mean streets, in locker rooms and chapels, with presidents, popes, poets and visionaries.

Rooney is survived by his wife, Patricia, and seven of the couple's nine children.

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