A wake for Tim Russert will be held Tuesday at St. Albans School in Washington, followed by a private funeral and memorial service on Wednesday, June 18, 2008, at 4 p.m. (EDT) from Washington’s Kennedy Center, and will be televised by MSNBC and made available for airing by other outlets, according to the network.
NBC aired a prime-time tribute Friday night, then devoted Saturday’s “Today” show to his life and career. “His voice has been stilled,” said Tom Brokaw, who led the conversation, “and our issue this sad Sunday morning is remembering and honoring our colleague and our friend ….”
Brokaw also said that Russert had a large wooden sign in his office that read: “Thou Shalt Not Whine,” which Brokaw then added, “Thou shalt not weep or cry this morning. This is a celebration.”
Brokaw and a half-dozen others, including presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin and political pundit Mary Matalin, with Maria Shriver – the former NBC News correspondent and currently California’s first lady – on a remote hookup, were seated in front of the “Meet the Press” set and its angular table, left vacant, where Russert had presided as recently as last week.
Tim Russert was born on May 7, 1950 in Buffalo, New York and died on Friday, June 13th at the age of 58, after suffering a heart attack while recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast.
Russert was the face of political news for NBC as well as MSNBC, serving as chief political analyst, a frequent correspondent and an election-night fixture, besides his off-camera duties as NBC News’ Washington bureau chief. Tim Russert had been host of Meet the Press since 1991 when the show was already in its 45th year. There has been no immediate word on who would host “Meet the Press” next week or in the weeks to come.