Friday, June 13, 2008


Barack Obama, John McCain, Joseph Lieberman, Larry King and James Carville react to the news of Tim Russert's death.

Tim Russert, a political lifer who made a TV career of his passion with unrelenting questioning of the powerful and influential, died suddenly Friday in the midst of a presidential campaign he'd covered with trademark intensity. Praise poured in from the biggest names in politics, some recalling their own meltdown moments on his hot seat.

Russert, 58, was a political operative before he was a journalist. He joined NBC a quarter century ago and ended up as the longest-tenured host of the Sunday talk show "Meet the Press."

He was an election-night fixture, with his whiteboard and scribbled figures, and was moderator for numerous political debates. He wrote two best-selling books, including the much-loved "Big Russ and Me" about his relationship with his father.

He was NBC's Washington bureau chief.

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