Tim Russert 1950-2008
NBC News has announced that Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press”, died Friday June 13, 2008 at the age of 58 after suffering a heart attack while recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast.
Born May 7, 1950 in Buffalo, New York, Russert grew up in a predominantly Irish-Catholic neighborhood where he was raised by his father, Timothy Sr., a World War II veteran who simultaneously worked as a truck driver and a sanitation worker, and his mother, Elizabeth, a homemaker.
Russert was rushed to Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, where resuscitation efforts were unsuccessful. Russert had just returned from putting his elderly father into a nursing home last week and a family vacation in Italy with his wife, journalist Maureen Orth, and son Luke to celebrate Luke’s graduation from Boston College. Earlier this year, Time magazine named Russert one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Russert was to have received a lifetime achievement award from the Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University on June 23. The school said the award would be presented posthumously. Russert was also the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy in 2005 for his coverage of the funeral of President Ronald Reagan.
The funeral for Russert will reportedly be closed to the public with many Washington news companies closing for the event. The flags at the NBC headquarters are at half staff which is something normally reserved for statesmen.
Survivors include his wife, Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, whom he met at the 1976 Democratic National Convention; and their son, Luke.