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NBC’s Tim Russert dead at 58

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Luke Hodiak
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« on: June 13, 2008, 03:09:44 pm »

NBC’s Tim Russert dead at 58
Washington bureau chief, ‘Meet the Press’ moderator collapsed on job

Virginia Sherwood / © NBC Universal, Inc.
Tim Russert at the Newseum in Washington on Nov. 14.
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LIVE: Remembering Tim Russert
LIVE VIDEO: Watch MSNBC’s coverage of the life of NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, longtime moderator of “Meet the Press.”
NBC News Live

NBC News and MSNBC
updated 22 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after a sudden heart attack at the bureau, NBC News said Friday. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” program when he collapsed, the network said. He and his family had recently returned from Italy, where they celebrated the graduation of Russert’s son, Luke, from Boston College.

No further details were immediately available.

Russert was best known as host of “Meet the Press,” which he took over in December 1991. Now in its 60th year, “Meet the Press” is the longest-running program in the history of television.

But he was also a vice president of NBC News and head of its overall Washington operations, a nearly round-the-clock presence on NBC and MSNBC on election nights.

He was “one of the premier political journalists and analysts of his time,” Tom Brokaw, the former longtime anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” said in announcing Russert’s death. “This news division will not be the same without his strong, clear voice.”

In 2008, Time Magazine named Russert him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Timothy John Russert Jr. was born in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 7, 1950. He was a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was a member of the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.

Senate staffer before entering journalism
After graduating from law school, Russert went into politics as a staff operative. In 1976, he worked on the Senate campaign of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-N.Y., and in 1982, he worked on Mario Cuomo’s campaign for governor of New York.

Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the live broadcasts of NBC’s TODAY show from Rome, negotiating and arranging an appearance by Pope John Paul II, a first for American television. In 1986 and 1987, Russert led NBC News’ weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China.

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Of his background as a Democratic political operative, Russert said, “My views are not important.”

“Lawrence Spivak, who founded ‘Meet the Press,’ told me before he died that the job of the host is to learn as much as you can about your guest’s positions and take the other side,” he said in a 2007 interview with Time magazine. “And to do that in a persistent and civil way. And that’s what I try to do every Sunday.”

Cuomo, Russert’s onetime boss, wrote of Russert: “Most candidates are not eager to present themselves for Tim’s incisive scrutiny, which is fed by his prodigious study and preparation. But they have little choice: appearing on ‘Meet the Press’ is today as vital to a serious candidate as being properly registered to vote.”

Russert wrote two books — “Big Russ and Me” in 2004 and “Wisdom of Our Fathers” in 2006 — both of which were New York Times best-sellers.

Emmy for Reagan funeral coverage
In 2005, Russert was awarded an Emmy for his role in the coverage of the funeral of President Ronald Reagan. His “Meet the Press” interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore in 2000 won the Radio and Television Correspondents’ highest honor, the Joan S. Barone Award, and the Annenberg Center’s Walter Cronkite Award.

Russert’s March 2000 interview of Sen. John McCain shared the 2001 Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television Journalism. He was also the recipient of the John Peter Zenger Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Journalism Award, the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication and the Catholic Academy for Communication’s Gabriel Award. He was a member of the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

Russert was a trustee of the Freedom Forum’s Newseum and a member of the board of directors of the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Club, and America’s Promise — Alliance for Youth.

In 1995, the National Father’s Day Committee named him “Father of the Year,” Parents magazine honored him as “Dream Dad” in 1998, and in 2001 the National Fatherhood Initiative also recognized him as Father of the Year.

Irish America magazine named him one of the top 100 Irish Americans in the country, and he was selected as a Fellow of the Commission of European Communities.

Survivors include Russert’s wife, Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, whom he met at the 1976 Democratic National Convention; and their son, Luke. 

Check back soon for more on this breaking story.

© 2008 MSNBC Interactive
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Luke Hodiak
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« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2008, 03:14:12 pm »

Tim Russert Dead Of Heart Attack At Age 58

Tim Russert Dies Of Heart Attack At Age 58
Huffington Post   |   June 13, 2008 03:22 PM

The New York Times is reporting that MSNBC's Tim Russert has died of a heart attack at the age of 58.

Russert suffered a massive heart attack and collapsed Friday afternoon in NBC's Washington bureau, according to the New York Post

Russert was in the tracking booth, recording a track, when he collapsed. He returned from Italy Thursday night. His wife, Maureen Orth, and son Luke, are still in Italy.

TVNewser reminds us that "Around 1pmET this afternoon, Russert was conducting a political Q&A on"

TMZ reports on the details of Tim Russert's death:

DC Fire tells us the call came in at 1:41 PM ET. We're told they transported one adult male patient in cardiac arrest to Sibley Hospital where he died.

For a summary of Russert's life and career,
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Rage Against the Machine
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« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2008, 04:48:53 pm »

What a loss!  He was of the only members of the corporate media to ever ask any tough questons.
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« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2008, 06:42:23 pm »

Probably not the best time to say so, but Tim Russert carried much of the water for the Bush

administration when they were “convincing” the American people we had to invade Iraq.

The way he used to fawn over Dick Cheny was disgusting.

He was tough only with those he didn't like or were not 'convenient'.

He fired Phil Donahue, the top -rated show at MSNBC and their only anti war host.

How may dead Americans and Iraqis to date?

Stopped watching him and MSNBC way back then.......

My condolences, nevertheless, to his family.

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Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
Brave New World
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« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2008, 10:39:33 pm »

Good point, Bianca, but let's be fair - all of the networks failed on the build up to the war with Iraq. Not only didn't any of them ever ask any tough questions, but they didn't even cover any of the protests leading up to the war, of which there were millions.

Hard as it may be for some of us to believe, I think that Russert actually believed that Saddam had WMDs, like, apparently Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and John Kerry also did.
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2008, 11:37:56 am »

Well, if the coverage of the last four days is any indication, Tim Russert was very much loved by his family and co-workers. You can't fake that sort of affection, it was definitely sincere. I just don’t think that people would be that affected by the demise of some of the more mean-spirited conservative commentators we all know and loathe.

He also seemed to genuinely love his work, it came across each time he was on TV, I will miss him. I can't see anyone quite able to take his place, especially on Meet the Press. I still don’t think that ABC ever found an adequate replacement for Peter Jennings, another great taken far too soon.
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