NBC News political analyst and contributor and "Meet The Press" moderator Tim Russert has died.
Russert collapsed Friday afternoon while working at the NBC News Bureau in Washington D.C.
Reports indicate he died of a heart attack. Russert was 58.
In a special report on NBC, Tom Brokaw said Russert had just returned from a family trip to Europe. Brokaw went on to say Russert loved his family, his faith, politics and sports. He called Russert one of the "premiere journalists" of our time and said Russert's "clear" voice would be sorely missed.
NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams, on assignment in Afghanistan, spoke of the NBC News team and how they are trying to work through their pain as they suffer this "great loss."
NBC's Andrea Williams said "the shock waves can't be fully expressed." She called Russert a teacher, a cheerleader, a leader and a mentor.
For more on Russert's legacy, tune in for NBC Nightly News at 6:30 and a special hour-long look at Russert's life, at 10 p.m. Friday.
Tim Russert is the Managing Editor and Moderator of "Meet the Press" and political analyst for "NBC Nightly News" and the "Today" Program. He anchors "The Tim Russert Show," a weekly interview program on CNBC and is a contributing anchor for MSNBC. Russert also serves as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News.
His two books - Big Russ and Me in 2004 and Wisdom of Our Fathers in 2006 - were both New York Times #1 bestsellers. He has received forty-three honorary doctorate degrees from American colleges and universities and has lectured at the Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan Presidential Libraries. Russert took over the helm of "Meet the Press" in December 1991. Since then, MTP has become the most watched Sunday morning interview program in America and the most quoted news program in the world. Now in its 59th year, "Meet the Press" is the longest-running program in the history of television. Russert has interviewed every major figure on the American political scene. Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised he live broadcasts of the "Today" program 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. Washingtonian Magazine dubbed Tim Russert the best and most influential journalist in Washington, D. C. describing "Meet the Press" as “the most interesting and important hour on television.” TV Guide selected his use of the white dry eraser board on Election Night 2000 as one of the “100 Most Memorable TV Moments” in history. The Washington Post credits him with coining the phrase “red state” and “blue state” to explain the nation’s political divide. In 2005, he was awarded an Emmy for his role in the coverage of the funeral of President Reagan. He is the recipient of the Golden Plate Award of the Academy of Achievement. His Election 2000 "Meet the Press" interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore 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 Senator John McCain shared the 2001 Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television Journalism. He is 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 is 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 has 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. Russert was born in Buffalo, New York on May 7, 1950. He is a graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and with honors from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Before joining NBC News, Russert observed firsthand the inner workings of the executive and legislative branches of government as counselor in the New York Governor’s office in Albany in 1983 and 1984 and a special counsel in the United States Senate from 1977 to 1982. He is admitted to the bar in New York and the district of Columbia. Russert is married to Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine. They live in Washington, D.C. with their son, Luke.