TIM RUSSERT
Tim Russert, hard-charging host of NBC's Meet the Press and one of the
best-schooled political minds on network television news, has died of an
apparent heart attack at the age of 58, NBC reports.

Russert served as NBC News' Washington bureau chief and moderator of
the most widely watched Sunday morning talk. He collapsed today while
taping "voice-overs'' for Sunday's show, NBC News reports.

Russert, schooled as a lawyer and trained in Washington politics, led not
only the sharpest weekly debates on television, but also had become a
master of the moderator's chair in national and regional political debates.

He had joined NBC News in 1984 and took over the lead chair at Meet the
Press ,the longest-running show on television, in December 1991.

"Tim came here almost directly from Capitol Hill,'' said Tom Brokaw, the
retired longtime NBC anchorman, in a series of tributes from Russert's
colleagues. "I had never seen anybody brighter or more politically
perceptive than this guy from Buffalo, N.Y.''
Among the first tributes, from the White House.
"Those of us who knew and worked with Tim, his many friends, and the
millions of Americans who loyally followed his career on the air will all
miss him,'' President Bush said, in a statement issued by the White House
from Paris.

"As the longest-serving host of the longest-running program in the history
of television, he was an institution in both news and politics for more
than two decades,'' Bush said.
"Tim was a tough and hardworking newsman. He was always well-
informed and thorough in his interviews. And he was as gregarious off the
set as he was prepared on it Most important, Tim was a proud son and

Russert was recording voiceovers for this Sunday's show about the
presdiential campaign underway, featuring Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware
and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, when he collapsed, according to

He and his family had recently returned from Italy, where they had
celebrated the graduation of Russert's son, Luke, from Boston College.

Russert, with a Jesuit education, a law degree and Capitol Hill tutoring,
took over the longest-running show in the history of television, a program
with a 60-year run, after serving as an aide to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick
Moynihan of New York. He also served as a vice president of NBC News
and led its Washington operations.

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

Russert came from working-class roots in Buffalo, and had written a top-
selling book about his father, Big Russ and Me.

He was married to Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine whom
he had met at a political conventionin 1976. The couple had one son,
Born on May 7, 1950, Russert was a graduate of John Carroll University
and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was a member of the bar
in New York and Washington.
"And boy did he love Springsteen,'' Brokaw said in a televised tributed
Russert had gone to work for Moynihan in his 1976 Senate campaign and
in 1982 worked on Mario Cuomo's campaign for governor of New York.
Joining NBC News in 1984, he started supervising live broadcasts of NBC's
Today show the next year and negotiated 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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