CNN Reports -
Tim Russert, who became one of America's leading political journalists as the host of NBC's "Meet the Press," died Friday, according to the network. He was 58.
The network said he collapsed at work Friday. He was taken to Washington's Sibley Memorial Hospital where he died, the hospital confirmed.
Colleague and former NBC anchor Tom Brokaw broke the news on the network Friday shortly after 3:40 p.m., saying Russert had just returned from a family vacation in Italy to celebrate the graduation of his son, Luke, from Boston College.
President Bush on Friday expressed sorrow over Russert's death and admiration for his professionalism.
"He was an institution in both news and politics for more than two decades. Tim was 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," Bush said in a statement Friday.
"Most important, Tim was a proud son and father, and Laura and I offer our deepest sympathies to his wife, Maureen, his son, Luke, and the entire Russert family," he said.
"He was truly a great American who loved his family, his friends, his Buffalo Bills and everything about politics and America. He was just a terrific guy," John McCain said of Russert.
Russert joined the network in 1984 and quickly established himself as the face of the network's political coverage, eventually becoming senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC news.
In 1985, Russert supervised live broadcasts of the "Today" show from Rome, negotiating an appearance by Pope John Paul II -- a first for American television.
Russert, who also served as a political analyst for cable network MSNBC, took the helm of "Meet the Press" in 1991, turning the long-running Sunday-morning interview program into the most-watched show of its kind in the United States.
"I think I can invoke personal privilege and say this news division will not be the same without his strong, clear voice," Brokaw said Friday. "He will be missed as he was loved -- greatly."
Washingtonian Magazine once dubbed Russert the best and most influential journalist in Washington, describing "Meet the Press" as "the most interesting and important hour on television."
He was also the recipient of numerous awards for his work, including an Emmy in 2005 for his coverage of the funeral of President Ronald Reagan.
In 2008, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
His two books -- 2004's "Big Russ and Me" and 2006's "Wisdom of Our Fathers" were New York Times best sellers
Note Kinda sad all the years he's been on air, that he leaves me personally with a rememberance of bad biased sexist unfair reporting on this years 2008 presidential election and on his light interrogations of anyone in the Bush administration for their utter incompetence and corruption.
He was out-lived by his father who he spoke of with adoration often and wrote a book about. I'm sorry his family faces this sudden shock and loss.