(FROM MSNBC) — Tim Russert, the anchor of NBC’s venerable Sunday morning public affairs program Meet the Press since 1991 and one of the most recognizable personalities on television, died Friday at the age of 58, NBC News announced. He suffered a heart attack while working at NBC’s bureau in Washington, D.C.
A towering figure in TV news, Russert was a native of Buffalo, N.Y., and arrived at NBC in 1984 after stints as a lawyer and staffer for New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and New York Gov. Mario Cuomo. As NBC’s Washington Bureau Chief and the moderator of Meet the Press, the Emmy winner turned the 60-year-old show into a ratings powerhouse, a must-see for people both inside the Beltway and beyond. He was the longest-serving anchor in the history of that program. Perhaps the highest-profile contributor to NBC News’ political and election coverage, he also appeared frequently on MSNBC and hosted a weekly interview show, Tim Russert, on CNBC.
Russert’s 2004 memoir of his childhood and his father, Big Russ and Me, was a No. 1 best seller. The overwhelming success of that book led to the publication of a best-selling follow-up, Wisdom of Our Fathers, which included many of the letters he received from people paying tribute to their own parents. He is survived by his son, Luke, his wife, Maureen Orth, a Vanity Fair writer, and ”Big Russ,” his father. (MSNBC)