Tim Russert dies

Dateline: Fri 13 Jun 2008

The unexpected death of Tim Russert, moderator of Meet the Press, Washington bureau chief for NBC, husband, father, son, writer and devoted Catholic in the Jesuit tradition, is a huge and untimely blow for the world of journalism.

Russert was 58 years old. From piecing stories together, he died of a heart attack at the Washington offices of NBC as he was doing voiceovers for Sunday's Meet the Press. He had just returned from a trip to Italy to celebrate the graduation of his son Luke from Boston College. His wife Maureen Orth, also a writer, and son were still abroad.

Many journalists are consummate workaholics and Russert, the son of working-class folks, was certainly raised in that tradition, and he lived it. He was also affable, informed and fair, according to colleagues.

Despite downsizing our book collection, we still have a copy of his life story of his father, "Big Russ and Me." Like everything Russert did, it's highly regarded.

His death is a big hit for American journalism and he will be deeply mourned by many.

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