Steelers chairman Dan Rooney dies at 84

Updated: 

Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney has died at the age of 84.

Rooney's father, Art, founded the Steelers in 1933 and Dan Rooney eventually succeeded his father as the team's primary owner. 

Rooney was the team president from 1975 to 2002 and became the Steelers' chairman in 2003. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000.

Between 1974 and 1979, the Steelers won four Super Bowl titles. They have since won two more since Rooney handed over control of day-to-day operations to his son Art Rooney II.

The NFL's "Rooney Rule," which mandates that teams interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and senior football operation jobs, was implemented in 2002 and is named after the long-time Steelers owner.

"Few men have contributed as much to the National Football League as Dan Rooney," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. 

"A member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he was one of the finest men in the history of our game and it was a privilege to work alongside him for so many years. 

"Dan's dedication to the game, to the players and coaches, to his beloved Pittsburgh, and to Steelers fans everywhere was unparalleled. He was a role model and trusted colleague to commissioners since Bert Bell, countless NFL owners, and so many others in and out of the NFL. 

"A voice of reason on a wide range of topics, including diversity and labour relations, Dan always had the league's best interests at heart. 

"For my part, Dan's friendship and counsel were both inspiring and irreplaceable. My heart goes out to [wife] Patricia, Art, and the entire Rooney family on the loss of this extraordinary man."