05:39 PM EDT 07/06/2014
Originally posted 08/01/2008 09:30AM
Like father, like son.
Luke Russert – son of Meet the Press's Tim Russert, who died tragically this summer – has signed on to help cover the Republican and Democratic national conventions later this year. He'll report on youth issues for his dad's network, NBC.
"I'm not trying to be my father," Luke told the Associated Press. "He's irreplaceable."
Tim – a respected newsman and NBC's Washington bureau chief – died of a heart attack in June. He was 58.
His 22-year-old son, a Boston College graduate and regular host of XM Satellite Radio's 60/20 Sports, said he was "humbled and grateful" for the opportunity.
Originally posted 07/28/2008 07:30AM
Maureen Orth, widow of Tim Russert, said on Monday's Today show, "we're doing great" – and credited the "outpouring of love" from both NBC and the public at large for getting her and son Luke through this period of mourning.
Orth, on the program to discuss her new Vanity Fair article about French first Lady Carla Bruni, also credited her family's faith in helping deal with the loss of Russert.
Meanwhile, Buffalo, N.Y., is not forgetting favorite native son Russert, who is being honored by having a park and a highway named for him – with plans also afoot to rename the airport.
Originally posted 06/19/2008 09:00AM
Leaving their hotel room in Italy ahead of his wife and son to go back to Washington, D.C., so he could tape that Sunday's Meet the Press, Tim Russert was grabbed by his wife, PEOPLE reports in its latest issue, on sale Friday.
"I said to him, 'I want to give you a hug; maybe I'll never see you again,' " says journalist Maureen Orth, 65, speaking publicly about her husband for the first time since his June 13 passing – the day after he left Italy. "I don't know why I said that to him. I just had a feeling."
Russert was under extra stress at the time of his death: covering this year's presidential election, flying to Buffalo to visit his widowed father, Tim Sr., 84, in an assisted living facility – which Orth calls "a huge psychological strain for him."
Then there were his three days in Europe, part of the graduation present for the Russerts' son, Luke. "It was very hot and humid in Rome," says Orth. "I was so tired. I told him, 'I don’t know how you do it.' "
Originally posted 06/18/2008 03:15PM
A composed, 22-year-old Luke Russert delivered what he termed "my Dad's last speech" at funeral services in Washington, D.C., Wednesday for powerhouse journalist Tim Russert. The elder Russert, longtime host of NBC's Meet the Press, died Friday of a heart attack at age 58.
"My dad was my best friend," said the younger Russert, who acknowledged wondering if he were capable of speaking at the service. "Well dad, I am the man for this job."
Speaking for his father, he advised parents, journalists and politicians to be their best selves. Saying that "we are all a small part of a grand design," Luke told his listeners: "Anyone can withstand anything" – even the loss of a beloved father.
Originally posted 06/17/2008 09:55AM
Tim Russert's sudden death came as a shock to friends worldwide – none more than Cardinal John Patrick Foley, who spent time with him during the 58-year-old newsman's recent Italian vacation.
"He was in good form and happy to be spending time with his wife and son," the Cardinal (who met up with the Russert clan in Rome) tells PEOPLE. The Meet the Press host and his wife, Vanity Fair journalist Maureen Orth, were celebrating son Luke's recent graduation from Boston College.
Originally posted 06/16/2008 07:05PM
Private and public services – including a televised memorial – are planned for Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert.
A public viewing will be held for Russert on Tuesday at the St. Albans School, Cafritz Refectory, in Washington, D.C., according to NBC.
After a private funeral and burial Wednesday, another memorial service will be held for Russert in the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center. That memorial will be broadcast live Wednesday on MSNBC, beginning at 4 p.m.
"He may have been the ultimate Washington insider," NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker tells PEOPLE, "but he wasn't part of the Brie and wine set. He was part of the beer and hotdog set. And that's why America loved him. They saw themselves in Tim."
Originally posted 06/16/2008 08:15AM
The person described as the "light of Tim Russert's life," his son Luke, said he and his mother are "hanging' in there, [we] take it day by day" after the shocking, sudden death of his father, NBC newsman Tim Russert, on Friday. "We're holding up as best as can be."
Speaking at the top of Monday morning's Today show, the recent Boston College grad expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support he and his mother, print journalist Maureen Orth, have received, and said that planning for his father's funeral is helping to keep their minds off their sadness.
"She grieves like a wife, and I grieve like a son, so we're mourning differently," he said, also stressing that the family's Catholicism is strong source of support.
Originally posted 06/15/2008 01:30PM
The plans were set. Sunday morning, Father's Day, Tim Russert would finish taping his NBC show Meet the Press and fly from Washington, D.C., to his hometown of Buffalo, N.Y.
His sister Kathy Russert-Hughes, 52, would pick Tim up and the pair would spend the day with their dad, Timothy J. Russert, Sr., fondly known as Big Russ. "We were going to take him out to eat, drive around, whatever he wanted to do," Kathy tells PEOPLE. "We were going to spend the time with my dad."
Originally posted 06/15/2008 11:00AM
Behind the desk at Meet The Press, Tim Russert had a knack for shredding even the savviest of politicians. Whether stumping gubernatorial candidate David Duke with a basic economic question in 1991, grilling President Bush on non-existent weapons of mass destruction 11 months after the invasion of Iraq, or tripping up Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on gun control last year, Russert earned his reputation as a TV tough guy.
But away from the cameras, friends say, Russert – who died of a heart attack on Friday – was a true family man and a "sweetheart of a guy."
Originally posted 06/14/2008 04:45PM
Newsman Tim Russert was plain-spoken and always determined to get to the truth – qualities, he often said, he inherited from his father, a Buffalo sanitation worker affectionately known as Big Russ.
In 2004, Russert, the longtime host of NBC's Meet the Press, wrote the bestselling book Big Russ & Me, about the life lessons he learned from his dad, and how he passed those lessons on to his own son, Luke.
Top 10 News Categories
The most buzzed about stars this minute!
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
More On PEOPLE.com
Got a News Tip?
Send it to our People.com editors!