Followingapublic viewing at Heinz Field on Monday,Steelers owner Dan Rooney was laid to rest on Tuesday.
The funeral for Rooney, who died Thursday at age 84 after a brief illness, was attended by hundreds that included current and former athletes as well asformer president Barack Obama. The private ceremony atSt. Paul Cathedral in Pittsburgh was followed by a burial service, both of which were closed to the media,as friends and family gathered to say goodbye to the soul of the Steelers' franchise.
Rooney's casket was carried by eight pallbearers that consisted of his seven grandsons and former Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor, who shared a close relationship with his boss.
Joe Greene,Mel Blount, Franco Harris, Jerome Bettis and former defensive coordinator Dick Lebeau were among the Steelers legends in attendance. A number of NFL owners, including the Cowboys' Jerry Jones, the Colts' Jim Irsay and the Patriots' Bob Kraft, also paid their respects alongside NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
Obama was joined byformer vice president Joe Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, former secretary of state John Kerry and his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder. Rooney served as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland during Obama's first term.
Dan Rooney embodied everything I was raised to believe being Irish meant – generosity, decency, warmth, dignity & a truly genuine spirit.— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) April 18, 2017
Rooney, whose father, Art, paid a $2,500 fee for the Steelers to join the NFL in 1933,is survived by his wife, Patricia, and seven of the couple's nine children.