Congressional leaders, journalists and others are remembering Tim
Russert, a prominent U.S. journalist who died of a heart attack last
A private funeral mass was held in Washington Wednesday
for the 58-year-old. A memorial service is being held at a major
Washington center for performing arts, the Kennedy Center, later today.
George Bush and first lady Laura Bush were among the attendees Tuesday
at a wake for the newsman, who collapsed in his Washington office on
Russert, the Washington bureau chief for NBC News, was
known for his tough interviews of political and influential figures,
all while maintaining a cheerful demeanor.
He took over as
host of NBC's Meet the Press in 1991, bringing the Sunday morning
interview program to the top of the broadcast ratings.
President Bush described Russert as an institution in news and politics for more than two decades.
major presidential candidates - Democrat Barack Obama and Republican
John McCain - paid tribute to Russert as one of the leading journalists
of his era. They both attended today's funeral.
author of two best-selling books, came to broadcast journalism in 1984
after working for Democratic politicians from his native state of New
Russert was also known as a family man and had just
returned from a trip to Italy, where he celebrated his son's graduation
from Boston College.
Russert recently moved his father, known
to the nation as "Big Russ," to a nursing home. One of Russert's books
was about his relationship with his father, titled Big Russ and Me.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.