Tim Russert, a journalist at NBC and host of Meet the Press, has passed away from a heart attack. Russert collapsed at NBC’s Washington news bureau, a source said. He was only 58 years old.
Russert, who rose from the inside world of politics where he was former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo’s press secretary and one-time chief of staff to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was able to successfully cross over to political journalism and rise to become one of its leading lights.
In his role as host of the seminal Sunday morning political program “Meet the Press” – which he took over in 1991 – he became renowned for his hard-nosed interviews where he frequently cornered some of Washington’s cagiest political figures with tough questions.
Russert joined NBC News in 1984. In April 1985, he supervised the 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.
Time Magazine named him one of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2008. My boyfriend and I watched Tim every day on MSNBC. May he rest in peace and our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.