[Vision2020] Tim Russert Died

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Fri Jun 13 13:43:41 PDT 2008

Tim Russert, one of the most balanced newsmen I have ever had the 
privilege of watching or listening to, has died.


>From NBC News at:



NBC's Tim Russert dead at 58 

Washington bureau chief, ‘Meet the Press’ moderator collapsed on job
NBC News and MSNBC
updated 1:28 p.m. PT, Fri., June. 13, 2008

WASHINGTON - Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the 
moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after being stricken at the 
bureau, NBC News said Friday. He was 58. 

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast 
when he collapsed, the network said. 

He had recently returned from Italy, where his family was celebrating 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. 

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 

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 

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. 


>From NBC News:

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"We're a town of about 23,000 with 10,000 college students. The college 
students are not very active in local elections (thank goodness!)."

- Dale Courtney (March 28, 2007)

This message was sent by First Step Internet.

More information about the Vision2020 mailing list