Tim Russert, NBC News "Meet the Press" moderator dies at age 58

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Friday, June 13, 2008

Tim Russert on October 22, 2007

NBC News Washington bureau chief, senior vice president and the moderator of Meet the Press Tim Russert has died today after a sudden heart attack at NBC's Washington news bureau. He was rushed to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., where resuscitation efforts failed.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Meet the Press when he collapsed. Russert and his family had recently returned from Italy after celebrating his son Luke's graduation from Boston College. He is survived by his wife Maureen Orth, son Luke, and father, who he knew fondly as "Big Russ", as illustrated in his best selling book, "Big Russ and Me."

A Buffalo, New York native, Russert graduated from John Carroll University and Cleveland-Marshall College of Law before entering politics. He was also a member of the bar in New York and Washington, D.C.

Russert entered politics as former New York Governor Mario Cuomo's press secretary and was the chief of staff to former Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. Russert joined NBC News in 1984, directed broadcasts of the Today program, and went on to lead NBC News broadcasts from South America, Australia and China in 1986 and 1987.

He took over the role as Meet the Press, a Sunday morning talk show, in 1991. His 16 1/2 years as moderator exceeded those of other hosts of the sixty year old public affairs show. His tenure in the position extended over the terms of three different U.S. presidents, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Time named him one of the world's one-hundred most influential people in 2008.

Russert was a very meritorious journalist, winning an Emmy Award for his coverage of the funeral of President Ronald Reagan. A very decorated journalist, Russert received forty-eight honorary doctorates and was a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.