You may have heard the news, or maybe you haven't, but "Meet the Press" host Tim Russert has died of an apparent heart attack.
I don't even know what to say, but I'll offer a few thoughts, after you read details of his death below:
NBC's Tim Russert has died of an apparent heart attack. He was 58.
Russert was moderator of NBC's "Meet the Press" and political analyst for "NBC Nightly News" and "TODAY." He was also host of "The Tim Russert Show." You can read more about his career and life here.
Life is so short. And when something like this happens, it really makes you reflect on the spiritual nature of life.
Tim Russert was a principled, fair, honest and decent man.
He gave me an opportunity of a lifetime to be a regular panelist on "Meet the Press" in the last year -- and for that, I am forever grateful. The fact that he decided to make this correspondent a regular says more about Tim Russert than it does about me. What it says is that Tim Russert is always looking for a wide range of analysis from all across the political spectrum.
The one thing you could always count on from Tim Russert is that he was fair. NBC News lost a political heavyweight and a dear family member today. The political world lost one of the most respected names in the business.
My best memories of Tim Russert were when the show was over.
If you thought the round table discussions on the air were interesting, you should have heard what we talked about off the air. He had a knack for telling great stories about his beloved father Big Russ and all of the political heavyweights he had met in his life. I sat on the Meet the Press roundtable and soaked it all in like a sponge. To be in his company was an honor and privilege.
I'll never forget one of my funniest moments with Tim Russert. I was scheduled to be on "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Feb. 24. I got a phone call the night before from the show's producer. I told her I couldn't talk at that moment because I was at a Barry Manilow concert. (I know, I know… yes I'm a Barry Manilow fan, and believe me that would come back to haunt me the next day with Tim Russert.)
The next morning after MTP was over, they served food on the set. Tim Russert pointed to the spring rolls and said "Hey David, why don't you have some of the spring rolls? It's Barry Manilow's favorite food."
Then as we were walking off the set, Tim relayed his own Barry Manilow story to me. When he was in his 20s, he and a friend walked through the streets of New York City and came upon this bar and peered in through the glass. Someone from the bar looked at them and said, "Sorry boys, Barry Manilow's not playing here tonight."
I'll never, ever forget Tim Russert. He was a pleasure to work with. He wasn't just a first-rate journalist. He was a first-class man.
May God be a comfort to his family during this difficult time. May they cling to their wonderful memories as they reflect on the man they knew, loved and cherished.
He will be sorely missed.