Tonight a giant in the world of news media passed away: Tim Russert, longtime host of "Meet the Press" and a major force in the NBC News family. Tim apparently died of a heart attack, at the age of 58, just this evening, after returning from a trip to Italy with this family.
I'm truly at a loss for words. I'll never forget watching Tim report the news and opinions of the world during the 2000 election, the tragedy of 9/11, the war in Afghanistan, the entire epic of the Iraq war, and most recently, the 2008 primary campaign. He was, in my eyes, the pinnacle of what a news journalist should be: informed, intuitive, patient and persistent. I learned more about the world by watching Tim Russert explain it to me.
I'm truly upset by this news - the world has suffered a great loss this evening.
Here is a nice tribute that NBC put together for Tim, which barely scratches the surface of this absolute titan: