A patriarch and ambassador of the National Football League, the late Dan Rooney will also be remembered for serving his country as an actual ambassador.
Rooney was named the 33rd Ambassador to Ireland in 2009 by President Barack Obama and served in that capacity until 2012.
Obama released the following statement on Thursday: "Dan Rooney was a great friend of mine, but more importantly, he was a great friend to the people of Pittsburgh, a model citizen, and someone who represented the United States with dignity and grace on the world stage. I knew he'd do a wonderful job when I named him as our United States Ambassador to Ireland, but naturally, he surpassed my high expectations, and I know the people of Ireland think fondly of him today.
"And I know the people of Pittsburgh, who loved him not only for the Super Bowl championships he brought as the owner of the Steelers, but for his generosity of spirit, mourn his passing today. Michelle and I offer our condolences to the Rooney family, some of the most gracious and thoughtful people we know -- even as we celebrate the life of Dan Rooney: a championship-caliber good man."
Rooney and his wife, Patricia, moved to Dublin in 2009, beginning a three-year stint during which they visited each of Ireland's 32 counties. NFL Network's Judy Battista noted in her comprehensive obituary that he also added a football field to the grand ambassador's residence in Dublin and hosted July 4th flag football games.