Tim Russert Dies at 58

Veteran newsman and my friend Tim Russert has died at 58. I was floored to learn the news because we just saw each other on Sunday at NBC. As a former employee of NBC and repeated guest on Meet the Press, I came to view Tim as a friend and an inspiration.

Every time that I saw Tim, he would immediately ask me about my kids and specifically Benjamin (whose birth he announced on Meet the Press). We would talk about little league and just being Dads, which we both loved. Even on Sunday when I was changing and Tim walked in, he followed a joke (about my state of undress) with immediate questions of Ben’s little league team and how we just lost in the McLean playoffs.

Tim had just gotten back for a trip with his wife and son Luke (who just graduated Boston College) when he had a massive heart attack. He was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” program when he collapsed.

I cannot express my personal sorrow at Tim’s passing. Those who worked with him will miss his constant sense of humor and unflagging common sense. He had a way of putting everyone at ease. He was also a rarity in Washington. He never allowed his considerable position and fame to change him as a person. He was always as nice to every camera man as he was to every president he met in his career. We are not likely see the equal to him in our lifetime.

For the full story, click here.

13 thoughts on “Tim Russert Dies at 58”

  1. Karma.

    Woodtick Olbermann goes on the air luring rabid haters to MSNBC for his hatefest, then the network looses the only person holding the entire network together.


    Woodtick Olbermann goes on the air luring rabid haters to MSNBC for his hatefest, then the network looses the only person holding the entire network together.


  2. Bindo, you’re almost too dumb and insensitive to note. I was not a particular fan of Mr. Russert, but in watching the hours go by on MSNBC I could see the genuine emotion of loss and sadness from all of the people who knew him and worked with him. Mr. Turley’s expression of grief and caring for someone who apparently was a thoroughly decent and likable human being makes the truth of this credible since it echoes the sense of loss being expressed by all who knew him.

    Having experienced death and loss of family/friends at young ages, I understand the grief and impact this is causing his family. My heart and sympathy goes out to all of the family and friends who mourn the emptiness his death has brought. The only comfort to be had is that this was obviously a loving and decent human being who had great impact on those who were personally touched by him. To me in the end that is the greatest tribute to oneself that anyone can achieve.

  3. Karma.

    Woodtick Olbermann goes on the air luring rabid haters to MSNBC for his hatefest, then the network looses the only person holding the entire network together.


  4. Liberals lose the Larry King of Sunday morning news shows. I gave up meet the press years ago when russert was unwilling to ask tough questions of any liberal on his show.

    But his favorite time waster on his show was to ask a question and then play the “but this is what you said ten years ago” game.

    Tim: “Senator McCollum, you just indicated a willingness to vote for more oil drilling because of high energy prices……….but Senator Coleman THIS IS YOU JUST 12 YEARS AGO” (plays clip): Senator McCollum: “With low gas prices & over supply I don’t see the need to encourage drilling”.

    Tim: “Senator McCollum it seems you are trying to have it both ways, isn’t that the case”.

    Senator McCollum: But Tim, I don’t see the point, that clip is twelve years old.

    Tim: Of course you wouldn’t see the point Senator, that is the point.

  5. A very sad day. When I first heard the news, I thought I had heard the name wrong and that it was his father that had passed away. I can’t imagine what his family is going through. Especially after such a joyous trip abroad to vacation and celebrate the graduation. At least the family can remember those days on holiday and remember how happy he must have been. He will be missed. He is already missed.

  6. JT:

    The passing of a friend is a great loss because they are so hard to come by. Your most revealing comment to me was “[h]e was always as nice to every camera man as he was to every president he met in his career.” That is the true measure of greatness.

    “To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.”
    —Charles de Montesquieu

    Condolences to all affected and diminished by his passing.

  7. JT, my sincerest condolences to you on the loss of a good friend and respected colleague (I had not known Mr. Russert went to law school until tonight).

    I had watched far more of his past coverage this year and others of the Presidential campaigns than his regular Meet The Press program, but I will miss seeing him terribly. The campaign coverage for the rest of the year will simply not be the same without him. I’ll be going back to the TV to watch Keith Olbermann’s interviews with his friends and colleagues.

  8. This is just shocking and I mourn for his family, they are suffering terribly right now. The last time I saw him appear on MSNBC (within the last week or so) I thought he looked unhealthy. His face seemed bloated and his eyes had dark circles. I will miss him.

  9. Patty C:

    In truth, I thought Tim looked bad this weekend, but he had just gotten back from the trip with his family. As tired as he appeared, he was still funny and happy — as he was unfailingly. Indeed, this election will simply feel empty without that reasoned voice and keen eye.

    Thanks for the notes everyone.


  10. Condolences to you, JT, as his friend and former colleague and I think I speak on behalf of the entire Turley blog.

    On a personal note, I would like to add, that while I had been really ‘on it’ with Tim of late over his Election ’08 coverage and of
    Clinton v. Obama, in particular, I fully expected he would be here, with us, to witness the upcoming events in our nation’s history, to be sure.

    I’m sorry he won’t be here to share those, and his comments, with us.

    On an even more personal note, the last time I saw Tim, meaning last week on 60 Minutes,besides being overweight, he looked ‘puffy’, and tired, as though he was retaining fluid and was not rested, which is not uncommon for someone with heart disease, kidney disease,and/or sleep apnea. How did he look to you, JT?

    His job, though infinitely exciting and interesting was very stressful, and I can only trust how wonderful it must have been for the Russert’s to have had the chance to go to Italy, as a family,
    in celebration of Luke’s graduation from BC just recently.

    Perfect timing.

  11. This is surreal; shocking & saddening almost on a Thurman Munson level and I wasn’t even a ‘Meet The Press’ junkie.

    In a time when lying became increasingly fashionable, to the point of politicizing crime, Russert was one of the voices of reason you’d turn to for a semblance clear analysis — a political/logical ‘inertial frame of reference’ so to speak; much like John Dean, Jonathan Turley (to name a few) & even Keith Olberman (albeit on a more visceral level).

    Seems the greatest shocks and sorrows are felt when the earnest and good hearted die early & suddenly.

    Maybe St. Peter will retain Russert’s services as an attorney to keep the likes of Scalia out.

    Seems like all this life is just a dream.

    RIP Tim.

  12. I’m shocked by this unexpected death. Tim Russert was an outstanding journalist. He was a credit to his profession and the institution that is “Meet the Press.” The election season won’t be the same without him. My heart goes out to his friends and family. Rest in peace, Mr. Russert; you did well.

  13. This kind of sudden, shocking passing of a friend is so difficult. This is a loss for all of us, but so much more so for you.

Comments are closed.