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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Tomothy John Russert

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Timothy John Russert, collapsed in NBC's Washington, D.C. studios on Friday June 13, 2008 while taping voiceovers for Meet the Press, and was pronounced dead a short time later at Sibley Memorial Hospital. An autopsy, performed on the day of his death, determined that his history of diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease led to sudden cardiac death. The immediate cause of death was an occlusive coronary thrombus. On the special reports program, Russert's friend Dr. Michael Newman stated that the autopsy showed coronary artery disease in the left anterior descending artery, and a fresh blood clot was visible on one of these plaques.
Timothy John Russert or "Tim" Russert, Jr. was an American Television Journalist and lawyer, best known for appearing for sixteen years as the moderator of NBC's Meet the Press. He was NBC News' Washington Bureau Chief and also hosted the self-titled CNBC/MSNBC weekend interview program Tim Russert. He was a frequent correspondent and guest on NBC's The Today Show and Hardball, and is noted for his coverage of presidential elections from 2000 until his death and for his presentation of the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey on the NBC Nightly News during the 2008 U.S. presidential election.
Russert took over the Sunday morning program Meet the Press in 1991, and would become the longest serving host of the program. Its name was changed to Meet the Press with Tim Russert, and went to an hour-long format in 1992. Russert was known especially for his extensive research in preparation for interviews. One common approach he used was to find old quotes or video clips that he would present to guests that were inconsistent with their more recent statements, and then ask them to clarify their positions. Russert often moderated political debates as well.
During his career, Russert received 48 honorary doctorates and won several awards for excellence in journalism including the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association, the John Peter Zenger Freedom of the Press Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Journalism Award, the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication and the Catholic Academy for Communication's Gabriel Award. Russert also received an Emmy Award in 2005 for his coverage of the funeral of former President Ronald Reagan.
Journalists from multiple news organizations and politicians of all viewpoints praised Russert's commitment to the highest standards of well-researched journalism and fair play. CBS News anchor emeritus Walter Cronkite wrote: "Tim Russert was a giant in our field — a standard-bearer of journalistic integrity and ethics. His masterful interviews and round-table discussions are legendary."
President George W. Bush praised him as "a tough and hardworking newsman. He was always well-informed and thorough in his interviews. And he was as gregarious off the set as he was prepared on it."

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