Tim Russert was an American journalist who set milestones in his career that still makes him a force in the arena. The legendary newsmaker was also a lawyer. He was the longest-running moderator of the longest-running program in TV history, NBC’s Meet the Press. The program is a news/interview show and Tim served as its moderator for more than 16 years.
On the show, he gained a reputation for his extensive preparatory research and cross-examining style. He also covered several presidential elections during his career. Tim was a senior vice president at NBC News as well as the Washington bureau chief. In 2008, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. He died of a heart attack in 2008.
Tim Russert – Biography
Timothy John Russert was born on May 7, 1950, in Buffalo, New York, the United States. He has German and Irish roots.
Growing up, Tim Russert attended Canisius High School, Buffalo where he received a Jesuit education. He then proceeded to John Carroll University, graduating in 1972 with a B.A. He further received a Juris Doctor with honors from the Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1976. His alma mater named its Department of Communication and Theatre Arts in his honor.
Russert was a die-hard sports fan. He grew up a New York Yankees fan though he later switched allegiance to the Washington Nationals. He was a lifelong fan of the NFL’s Buffalo Bills and was also a fan of the professional ice hockey team, Buffalo Sabres.
Tim authored two best selling books including his autobiography titled Big Russ and Me (2004). The book chronicles his relationship with his father and the lessons he learned from him. The second book, Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons was released the following year. Furthermore, he made a cameo appearance on the hit police drama series Homicide: Life on the Street in 1995.
The nation was brought to a standstill on the 13th of June 2008 following his death. A true lover of hard work, Tim Russert met his end while doing what he loves. He collapsed at the offices of WRC-TV, which houses the Washington, D.C. bureau of NBC News while he was recording voiceovers for the Sunday edition of Meet the Press. He died of a heart attack and is interred at Rock Creek Cemetery.
Tim Russert ran a New York-based law office belonging to U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan and later served as special counsel and as chief of staff to Moynihan. He later worked as a top aide to New York Governor Mario Cuomo in 1983 before getting on the media train the following year.
He joined NBC News’ Washington bureau and five years later, he became bureau chief. In 1991, he assumed the job of host of the Sunday morning program Meet the Press. During his time on the show, he brought about many changes that helped to establish it as one of the most important sources of political news. A year after he started hosting the show, he suggested that it went to an hour-long format and, in turn, it shifted to a greater focus on in-depth interviews with high-profile guests. The news/interview show was receiving more than four million viewers per week. Russert also often moderated political campaign debates. He moderated Meet the Press for over 16 years. In 2008, Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Besides moderating the famous political show, he also served as a senior vice president at NBC News (1984-1988), Washington bureau chief of NBC News (1988-2008), co-anchored the network’s election night coverage (1992-2006) as well as hosted an eponymous CNBC/MSNBC weekend interview program. He also frequented NBC’s The Today Show and Hardball as a correspondent and guest. Tim Russert covered several presidential elections as well.
During his career, Tim Russert won numerous awards for excellence in journalism as well as received 48 honorary doctorates. Also, he received an Emmy Award for his coverage of the funeral of former POTUS Ronald Reagan in 2005.
As a journalist, Tim Russert dutifully made his way through the ranks to become one of the most remarkable journalists on American television. His career spanned over two decades, working for one of the most reputable networks in the industry. Russert won many awards and was held in high regard not only in the industry but in the nation as a whole. His net worth has not been revealed but it would no doubt be an impressive amount.
His Family – Wife, Son
The second of four children, the legendary journalist, Tim Russert was the only son born to Elizabeth “Betty” (née Seeley), a homemaker, and Timothy Joseph “Big Russ” Russert, a sanitation worker. He was raised with his sisters; Betty Ann, Kathleen, and Patricia in a Catholic household.
Tim’s parents tied the knot in 1946 and were married for 30 years before separating in 1976. His father was a WWII veteran who worked two jobs for three decades without as much as a single complaint. Tim credited his father for teaching him to appreciate the values of hard work, self-discipline, respect, and loyalty which helped him to build a remarkable career. Big Russ passed away on September 24, 2009, five years after his ex-wife, Betty who died on the 14th of August 2005.
Tim Russert was married to Maureen Orth from 1983 until his death. Orth is also a journalist, author and has been a special correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine since 1993. They had one child, a son known as Luke Russert. His son has followed in Tim’s footsteps, becoming an NBC News Correspondent in 2008.