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Community: Remembrances of Tim Russert

TelevisionWeek invites friends and colleagues of Tim Russert to leave remembrances of the TV newsman, who died today at age 58.

Mr. Russert, NBC News' Washington bureau chief, was host of the longest-running show on television, "Meet the Press." He was also a published author, earning acclaim for "Wisdom of Our Fathers," and a memoir of his father, "Big Russ."

Mr. Russert is survived by wife Maureen Orth, a Vanity Fair special correspondent, as well as a son, Luke.

Please leave your comments below...

For TVWeek's full coverage on Mr. Russert, including news and memorials,click here.

Comments (18)

ann wicklund:

Andrea Mitchell, your beautiful coverage of the death of Tim today has touched everyone who is watching MSNBC. I do not know how you got thru this day and I thank you for your loving coverage.

From The Rural Blog, at http://irjci.blogspot.com:

“This is a blow to America,” Peggy Noonan said today about the devastating death of Tim Russert. How many journalists, having died suddenly in the prime of life, would prompt a former speechwriter for a Republican president to say something like that? Very few, if any. I am sure many Americans feel they have lost, if not a friend, an ally – someone who served their interests – because they knew he was interested in getting the facts they needed to participate effectively in self-government, perhaps most prominently as an interviewer who asked those who seek our votes the right questions, and in the right way. “He always asked the question we hoped he wouldn’t,” Sen. Mitch McConnell said.

The end of anyone’s life should teach lessons. Tim taught men how to be sons and fathers, and he was a father figure to his younger NBC colleagues, as they have testified today. For journalists, he was a role model for the fundamental function of our business: making democracy work. May we all try to remember that example, and follow it.

My deepest condolences to the Russert family and his many colleagues on the news side of the business. As the former President of the Television Academy, I wish to provide my own observations from the "non-news" side, that we have all lost one of the truly outstanding professionals of the industry, who day-in and day-out never failed to inspire.

Lynn:

So young.
So Devestating to his family.
I feel for those of you who knew and loved him.
This is such a shock.
Lynn Sawyer

John Miller:

Much has been said about Tim Russurt and every accolade is true and then some - Having known Tim
for some time - I dont think I ever met anybody
with a greater passion for what he did or a greater
love and appreciation of life. We lost him too
soon. He will be deeply missed.

LibbyWalgamott:

Our entire family is devastated. While we didn't kn ow Tim, he was a "friend" to all of us who follow politics. Our condolences to the Russert family and the NBC family.

Linda Bailey:

As a follower of politics, I always respected Tim Russert's views, because I knew I would hear "straight talk" from him. He never harbored any animosity toward anyone, even those who he disagreed with. My family has been talking tonight about what REAL success is (and Mr. Russert seemed to understand this very well)....it's when you die...when you leave this world...and everyone feels the loss so deeply...and they're brought to genuine tears; and they're MISSED sorely. That person has left an indelible mark on many, many lives. People feel blessed to have known them. That's a life that MATTERED....not what they did, or what they owned, or who they knew or how much money they made. Imagine leaving this world, and having those who've known you say, "good riddance!" What a tragedy that would be...to have lived an entire life, and have people say they're "happy" that you're gone.

My family and I have cried GENUINE tears today...sometimes actually sobbing...because we feel as though we've lost a friend. We didn't know him personally...but knew him through a television screen and his books. We want to tell his wife, his son, his father....and his whole family....that we're very sorry for their loss....but we're very happy for them that they were blessed with such a husband, father, and son. God is truly good....to have given you all to one another...and, in knowing him, it's made life such a joy...he loved you all so much...and it showed in all he said and did. His Creator has called him home...you will see him again in the by and by...His Lord promised him life...eternal... and that life, for him, has only just begun.

We TRULY thank you for sharing him with us all.

Linda, Mark, and Aunt Marcie (83 years old)...we watched him all the time. God bless...

Vi McMahan:

I am someone who would be up with my coffee and ready to listen to Tim Russert every Sunday. The devastating news of his death today has brought me to tears. No, I didn't know him personally, but over the years, I felt that I did. I will miss his questions and interviews that made so many things come clear, but I will also miss his wonderful smile and the twinkle in his eye, the way he was always respectful of each and every guest. He was a man of great integrity. What in the world will we do without him every Sunday morning? My heart aches for his family and my prayers go out to them. How lucky they were to have had him in their lives.
Vi McMahan

David Gall:

My sympathty to the family. I was never effected about the death of a person I never knew as I was about Tim Russert. He was a gentleman and a true professional. It is hard for me to understand and it gets harder and harder to understand, but God has more important things for Tim to do, and now he is on the right hand of God. Again my sympathy to his wife and son and family.

Curt Block:

I have many memories of Tim having worked at
NBC Media Relations/NY for over two decades
but the most personal and telling story that has stayed with me has nothing to do with TV, news or politics. After a long run at NBC I became VP,
PR for the (then) World Wresting Federation in 1994. One day the phone rang at my desk in Stamford, CT. It was Tim asking for a favor.
His (then) 8 year old son Luke was a huge wrestling fan. Wrestlemania, the company's premier
event, was scheduled for the upcoming weekend.
Luke knew that in the two days prior to the big Sunday show there was a Fan Festival where all
the WWF "stars" would be greeting fans at Madison Square Garden in a carnival atmosphere with games
of chance, autographs and all the activities
that stir 8 year olds. Tim wanted to come with Luke and needed to sure the event was not sold out
and they could get in. Needless to say I met them
at the gate, gave them a tour of the facilities
and then left them to enjoy themselves. Midway through the morning Tim called out to me that one of the midget wrestlers, dressed in a clown outfit, had recognized him and shouted "Hey, Russ, how's it going." Tim couldn't believe that one of the lesser wrestling personalies had picked him out of the crowd. (Remember it was 1994 and the senior Russert had not yet achieved iconic status).
After three full hours they were about to leave
for the train ride back to DC. To be sure the Russert's had gotten to see everything I took
them behind the curtain (backstage) where the
wrestling talent spent their down time. It
would have been heaven for any 8 year old fan
and Luke was no exception. The lounge was buzzing with all of his heroes but the "giant" that had
Luke mesmermized with the 500 pound, 7 foot Japanese WWF superstar Yokozuna, who did not speak. Luke was also speechless and motionless as well. After some coaxing from
his father and myself and a welcoming "mitt"
from Yoko he inched forward and had pictures taken. Tim was thrilled. We couldn't be certain at that point what Luke was thinking about the much larger than life setting.
Three days later Tim called to thank me for
serving as their host at the Fan Fest. He jokingly said, "I take my son to breakfast with the Secretary of State. You introduce him to Yokozuna and that's all he's taking about now. You're the hero."
A key subtext to the story is that they must have gotten on a 7 or 8am train in Washington that
day for the trip to NYC. The earliest they could
have arrived back in DC was late afternoon.
Tim was legendary in his preparation for every
Sunday edition of Meet The Press. The Fan Fest
was held on a Saturday, meaning Tim had taken a full key day away from the office so he could take his son to Meet The Wrestlers.
Curt Block
Philadelphia

Robin Chambers:

I'm watching my city slowly sink into the Iowa floodwaters. For five days I have been keeping strong, refusing to break down and trying to support others whose trouble is so great. But when I heard that Tim Russert is gone, I cried for a long time.

All of you at NBC are doing a lovely job, in your terrible grief, of telling us more about Tim's life. He has been one of my heroes for as long as he's been on MTP. God bless all of you and God keep his wife and son.

Stephanie and Dennis Clancy:

As with the rest of the nation, we are stunned at the sudden death of Mr. Russert. Our sincere condolences to the family and to his colleagues. My husband, also from Buffalo (now living in California) has taken this especially hard. We will keep you all in our prayers.

With sympathy,
Stephanie and Dennis Clancy

LINDA GRIFFITH:

WHAT A SAD DAY FOR OUR COUNTRY SUCH A BRIGHT LIGHT HAS GONE OUT OF TELEVISION AND POLITICS. HE WAS TOUGH BUT FAIR. EVEN THOUGH ONE WAS SURE HE WAS A DEMOCRAT HE NEVER LET THAT SHOW THROUGH.

I SPECIFICALLY REMEMBER THE TIMES HE APPEARED ON DON IMUS'S SHOW WHICH WERE MANY AND THE TWO OF THEM WERE SO GREAT TOGETHER.

HE WILL BE SORELY MISSED BY ALL. CONDOLENCES TO HIS FAMILY THAT MEANT SO MUCH TO HIM

Eva Langnehs:

Like most of Tim's audience, I always get up on Sunday mornings and watch the political shows . . . the best of them (of course) is Meet the Press, mainly because of Tim Russert.

I never met Mr. Russert, but have always felt like I knew him. He was genuinely GENUINE, and will be missed by so many people.

My heart goes out to Maureen, Luke and Big Russ, as well as to the entire NBC family. God Bless.

cheryl kay seger:

: I always watch meet the press on sunday. When I turn the T.V. on it was always on the channel he was on he had alot to say. My deepest thoughts goes out the the family .News will not ever be the same without him. He was funny,smart unquine. and had a way of his owen that no one will every have . My heart goes out to the NBC staff I am sure it will be.And the picture of his son standing over his chair is heart breaking to see.

Heartbroken in Maine:

To Dear Mr. Russert's family and friends:

Our family's deepest sympathy to all of you. The remembrances of him are simply incredible to hear! The fact that anyone that Mr. Russert ever came in contact with speaks so highly of the man shows how important he was to these folks. Anytime a public figure dies and is remembered many folks speak kindly of them and say good things, but not to this extent, and not so emotionally as they have. He was not only a giant among broadcasters, but a giant among all of mankind! As Andrea Mitchell said, "Our hearts are broken" - our hearts are broken as well, and we had never met the man. However, we feel as though we did because we met him again and again every Sunday morning, and every time we saw him it felt as though he was asking the questions for us personally, making sure that these folks were held accountable so that my daughter and family could make a good life for themselves as well.
Thank you Mr. Russert, and may God bless you and your family!

frances McMaster:

Tim Russert seemed like a personal friend--someone you could trust and whose mission in life was to keep the flame of truth burning in an age when it is threatened with extinction by people who twist, distort, and even ignore it. He epitomized what it meant to be a good man, son, and father.

I am 83 and have observed life with a growing sense of alarm as I see family values, morality and integrity slipping away with few people sounding an alarm. Tim held fast to the very best of what it is to be a man. He didn't preach about those values, he lived them and communicated them simply through being who he was.

My condolences to his beloved family and to his friends. We, too, share your sadness; we shed tears at his departure. The only positive thing that comes out of his loss is that his memory will continue to inspire us in the future.

Yvonne:

Tim, we are so sad you have left us. Now heaven's gates are opened to welcome you home! Our loss is heaven's gain!

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