Tim Russert

TV Personality / Journalist

Born: 7 May 1950
Died: 13 June 2008 (heart failure)
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York
Best known as:

Host of TV's Meet the Press, 1991-2008

Tim Russert was an American television journalist known best as a host of the political affairs talk show Meet the Press. A 1972 graduate of John Carroll University in Cleveland, Russert also held a degree from Cleveland State University's Cleveland-Marshall College of Law (1976). Before he began his TV career, Russert worked for both U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1977-82) and New York's Governor Mario Cuomo (1983-84), both Democrats. He was hired by NBC in 1984, and by the end of the decade was a bureau chief in Washington, D.C. He took over hosting Meet the Press in 1991 and within a few years became NBC's go-to guy in Washington and one of the most prominent political journalists in the business. Russert earned millions of dollars from his TV-friendly persona: a no-nonsense, working class guy from Buffalo asking tough questions of newsmakers ranging from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. He also published books, including Big Russ and Me (2004, about his dad) and Wisdom of Our Fathers (2006, a collection of letters about other dads). He died suddenly of a heart attack at NBC News studios in Washington, D.C. in 2008.

Extra credit:

Tim Russert married Maureen Orth, later a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, in 1983. Their son, Luke Russert, was born in 1985... Tim Russert himself became a newsmaker in 2007 when he wound up in the middle of an F.B.I. investigation about the Valerie Plame Wilson case, thanks to the testimony of Vice President Dick Cheney's aide, I. "Scooter" Libby. Libby testified that Russert told him in 2003 that Plame was a C.I.A. agent, a fact which was a secret at the time. Russert later testified that he could not recall saying that to Libby, but could not rule it out.

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More on Tim Russert from Fact Monster:

  • Tim Russert - Biography of Tim Russert, Deathplace: Washington
  • Tim Russert - Biography of Tim Russert, Host of TV's Meet the Press, 1991-2008
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