Top US political journalist Tim Russert has died of a heart attack.
Mr Russert, 58, was the Washington Bureau Chief for US network NBC, and was known for his tough interviews on the weekly "Meet the Press" programme.
Before entering journalism, he worked for senior Democratic politicians Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan and Mario Cuomo.
Time magazine listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2008.
His memoir of his father - "Big Russ and Me" - became a best-seller in 2004.
READERS' TRIBUTES TO TIM RUSSERT
Tim Russert possessed a unique ability to ask direct, pertinent questions and to offer straight, insightful assessments. He provided unbiased coverage in a jovial fashion, simultaneously an entertainer and a true professional. It is easy to laud a person's character and achievements posthumously, and so perhaps the greatest testament to Tim's work is that he was held in such high esteem, both personally and professionally, before his passing. Few journalists commanded the respect that Tim did and even fewer were so admired in a personal manner. He may not have had the vocal following of more flamboyant colleagues, but his legacy and influence as a political commentator and an American icon will persist for a long time to come. Tim Russert, you will be missed. Marc Normandin, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
His death was a shock. He was fully into what he did which was why I enjoyed listening to him interview people. I was drawn by his firm tenacious style which seemed balanced and fair. At the same time he seemed to be someone you could talk like a regular joe. I pray for his family. Paul in LA
Paul Szostak, Los Angeles, CA, USA
A true Journalist who asked the right question in the most difficult of situations.
A serious loss to TV journalism first Peter Jennings & now Tim Russet.
If it was possible , I know Tim would have reported from the heavens. Syed Nadeem, Dubai
This was a really good guy; someone whose public persona gave the impression of someone uniquely worthy of public respect and who stood out in his profession. On one hand, its kind of surprising to hear the accolades given, but in this case they seem to appropriate. NBC as a network will have trouble replacing him and election coverage will be the weaker as a result of his absence. Tim, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
I for one, have always been conscious of the american media's preference for hollow, facile presenters and interviewers. Mr Russert was indeed the stand-out! I know I will miss him dearly. A truly intelligent and passionate patriot, yet with the ability to comprehend others. A rare quality in today's media.
Thank You Tim! Quality and Independence ! Brendan, Melbourne, Australia
Tim Russert made politics easy to understand and follow for the everyman without dumbing it down. For such a vast number of his viewers, he was the everyman, the voice of the people, asking top political figures questions they wanted answers to. And if the politician hung themselves with those answers (ie David Duke & Dick Cheney) than so be it. Russert provided a platform that was either rope to hang themselves or a vindicating defense. But the important thing was the questions there on the lips of people in bars, restaurants & family rooms were asked by Mr. Russert. A great, great loss to the American people & political journalism overall. Mr. Russert may be impossible to replace but it is essential that he is succeeded by someone who is just as much the voice of the people. Thank You for everything, Tim Russert, one of the good guys. Tim Davis, Sherman Oaks, CA
A sad loss in troubled times. I often looked to Tim Russert for balanced and thoughtful coverage. He was a credit to the Fourth Estate, and will be missed. Rigo Mehren, Tempe, AZ, USA
I am so sorry to hear this, he was genuine, caring, honest, straight-up. My compassion goes out to his loving family. Emily Krahn, Virginia Beach, VA USA
Tim Russert always showed kindness, courtesy and respect for everyone he interviewed, yet he never failed to ask the tough questions. To say that the world has lost a great journalist would be a tremendous understatement. Sunday mornings will simply not be the same anymore without Russert's strong presence. Randolph, Lexington, Kentucky, USA
Sunday mornings will never be the same without Tim. He set the gold standard for journalists. Millions of Americans welcomed good ole Tim into their living rooms every Sunday morning for -the- political staple of the week. I wonder how we will go on with the upcoming election without Mr. Russert's objectivity, fair-minded, good-natured and sharp analysis. Words truly fail to express the hole that millions of American's will feel this Sunday. . . C. 'Skip' Wagner, Cincinnati, Oh, USA
"Big Russ and Me" put me in touch with my own father. I will always be indebted to Tim Russert for showing me the way. We have all suffered a great loss. Thank you and God Bless you Tim... Don, New Cumberland
Tim truly practiced his profession with his unbiased approach -rather than using his position to lead you to his personal views, he played the opposition to the person he was interviewing and allowed others to form their own views. If only we had more journalists like him in the US and the world! Tim, you are missed. Marie , Portland, OR
Most celebrities' deaths are curiosities to the public. Tim Russert's passing was like the loss of a well-liked next door neighbor. Especially cruel was how he died not only days before Father's Day, but before the culmination of one of the most important elections in America in years. RIP Mr. Russert. Joel Ackeer, West Hills, California, US
They do not make journalists like Tim Russert much anymore. He was one of the few journalists I could respect for honest, unbiased reporting in politics. His career, along with the likes of Ed Murrow, Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, & Walter Cronkite, I followed while studying broadcasting in college.
And though I didn't know him, I feel his death keenly as if he'd been a dear friend. I was actually just reflecting on this a little while ago. There's that certain fellowship among journalists that's hard to put into words beyond that we can "feel each other" (to use an american slang phrase). Megan, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Growing up in the 90's, my family would always watch Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw sort out the results of election day. His grasp of American politics was renown and anything he spoke about you could be sure was well thought out and honest. Patrick, Seattle, WA
I'm moved by the stories of his family and the enthusiasm, energy and authenticity he displayed even in candid, "off-camera" situations. I wish he would have been tougher on Bush in his Oval Office interview in 2004, but I looked forward to Meet the Press every Sunday. I'm stunned. John, Chicago, USA
What a loss. Tim Russert has been such a huge part of my life. Every Sunday morning, one could count on at least an hour of spin-free, honest, thoughtful and intelligent reportage. For this inner city kid, that hour was a Government 101 class, opening up and explaining our convoluted government better than any teacher ever could.
Ten years later, I am graduating college and applying to law school...
What a man. What a loss. KJ, NYC/ NY
Tim Russert is the reason I became interested in politics. I have relied on him for many years to ask the hard hitting questions in an eloquent, unbiased manner. I will miss him more than I can say.I'll be watching this Sunday. I hope NBC gives us all one last Sunday morning with Tim. I think I'll be keeping my television off more many Sundays that follow, as I don't want to turn on Meet the Press, and not see him. Manette Swan, St. Paul, United States of America
In the USA one can choose exactly the kind of spin one is looking for on the TV news channel of choice. But with Tim Russert it didn't matter that he was with NBC because you knew what he said was straight up, honest and thoughtful. David, Vermont, USA
Immediate sadness. Loss of an independent voice in the media. Loss of a big man with a big heart for truth and honesty. Loss of media soul. Loss a real American journalist. Loss of "Meet The Press". Loss of a man's man. Loss of a father, husband and son. Forever grateful for your life Tim. Hughe loss. Noel James McAtasney, Babylon. NY
I quickly became of fan of Russert when I started closely following politics in the mid-1990s. I really admired his no-nonsense, get to the truth style that made Democrats, Republicans and any other casual Washington fraud quake in their shoes. He had an amazing BS detector. A very honorable American icon is gone and Sunday morning TV will never be the same. JJ, Atlanta, GA
I look forward to every Sunday morning to catch Meet the Press. Tim Russert educated millions about US politics. Salute to a great journalist! He will be genuinely missed by all. Tharshan, Milwaukee, USA
It's because of people like Tim Russert that I chose to become a journalist. His integrity, professionalism and candour set the standard for US political journalism. 'Meet the Press' was a staple of my television viewing. Unfortunately Sunday mornings won't be the same without Tim. Julian, Houston, TX, USA
Tim Russert brought a unique voice to American news coverage. He was uniformly fair, unfailing cheerful and disarmingly insightful in his ability to explain complex issues. Most of all he was credible because no one doubted his honesty. God speed Timothy! James, Galveston, Texas, USA
I send great sympathies to the Russert family. I enjoyed watching Tim several times a week and always appreciated his hard-working and friendly style no matter the topic. I will miss his presence. Jennifer, USA
There are few people involved in US politics, and the journalistic organizations that cover them, that have the ability to respectfully command both truth from those that they interview, and trust from those that watch and rely on them for accurate information. Tim Russert was one of them, and perhaps the best of them. American politics, journalism, and the American public suffer a tremendous blow, in the midst of a potentially nation changing election. Matthew, Tucson, United States
Tim Russert was the reason I got into politics. Every Sunday before going to mass, my parents would watch Meet the Press. It was Russerts simplification of a some of the most complex issues that got me interested. Thank you Mr. Russert for all the years of great journalism. I will miss you, especially on Sundays. Nick, Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA
What a shock! He was a delight to watch & listen to during many debates, interviews and many early Sunday mornings in the midst of watching Meet the Press. He was THE REASON why I watched Meet the Press. I was transfixed even at 21 yrs old, making sure not to miss MTP. A true, old school reporter/journalist with passion like no other who asked tough questions and was relentless in doing so. But all the while, a classy & good hearted person. He made the often confusing & tough political news easy to understand for the average American. He was my favorite political analyst/journalist. He will be missed, greatly!! Vicky, Los Angeles, USA
Tim had incredible bandwidth! I’ll never forget the time during the 2006 senatorial debates he had J.Webb and the other guy on the show and after a daunting few minutes of answering political questions from Tim, he came up with the following curve ball “I know each of you use chewing tobacco, will you stop if elected?”. They were both stunned that he knew and so was I. They both said no. Tim was and always be my hero when it comes to serious journalism. I will miss him very, very much. Go Bills! Nunu Tadesse, Geneva, Switzerland
Unmistakable voice and a talent for questions that got to the heart of a political issue, Tim Russert spoke for America. His questions were those we wanted to ask but could not. What a tragic loss to TV journalism across the world, his family and to America. We will miss you, Tim. John Chilgren, Portland, OR USA
Tim Russert was the journalist that made you want to watch tv and learn more about politics.He never showed any kind discrimination or bias against people from all walks of life.He will be truly missed espically Sunday mornings.My heart goes out to his family. Hazel, New York
Since childhood, my Sunday mornings would start with Tim Russert and Meet The Press. Not only did I esteem him for his integrity, honesty, and wit, he taught me about politics. With his questions and commentaries, I learned about policies that directly affected Americans and those abroad and the successes and failures of our often prevaricative politicians. As an American living abroad, I relentlessly looked ways to watch Meet the Press to satisfy my desire to keep abreast on domestic and international issues. Tim - you will be sorely missed. It all seems so surreal to me right and I can't imagine Meet The Press without you. I really don't think that anyone can fill your post. Holly Kosiewicz, Bogota, Colombia
Mr. Russert spoke on my college graduation. His commencement speech changed my look on life and gave me a bigger sense of responsibility for the world. I am deeply saddened that he's gone but his ideals and ideas will live on through all of us who have been touched by him Linus, St. Louis, USA
My sincere condolences to his family. In the midst of all the tributes and adulation however, and while he should be regarded as having been a preeminent US political journalist, it is worth reminding ourselves and the world in general, that he, along with the massive majority of people in his profession in the US, are part of various corporate media empires, that are primarily in the business of selling large audiences to advertisers. It is perhaps a true testamemt to his journalistic credentials that he was able to exhibit some integrity and rise above it all, in an otherwise corruptable and pliant media world, so willing to distort the truth while more often than not, look the other way for the sake of profit and ratings. Jake , Parker, Colorado, USA
Being an international student in USA, I learnt a lot from his panel discussions in last 3 years about the US politics and their thought process. I am sure that none can replace him for ever. Gaurav Agarwal, College Station , USA
My thoughts and prayers are with the Russert family and indeed all of his colleagues at NBC. Mr. Russert exemplified the very best of American journalism and character with his integrity, intelligence, impartiality and work ethic. His incredible influence on political journalism will be felt for generations to come. Above all, we lost a very decent man today, a man who cared about his family and his country - a man who will be greatly missed. Adam Lenk, Detroit, United States
Tim was that true rarity... Razor-sharp with no hint of pretense, something that his journalistic peers would do well to take from his legacy. He was brutal, but to the point of fairness. He favored fairness above all, and in the end, his audience was all the better for it. Tim Russert, you will be deeply missed. Dino Alexander, Fayetteville, NC, USA
Wow what a true loss, I'm shocked. I believe him to be one of the few and last true great journalists. No one told it like Tim. I will truly miss his show and his honesty. Carrie, Manchester Iowa, USA
I'm just stunned. One of my favourite traditions is to get up every Sunday morning, make the coffee, walk the dog, check the news on the net, and then settle in on the couch for an hour with Tim Russert. He was the most fair, but stern, journalist in America. Words cannot express.... George, Atlanta, USA
"Florida, Florida, Florida", I watched him say it live. I normally don't get emotional about a reporter's death, but this guy was different. Just listening to him, his honesty and fairness came right through the TV set into your living room. I know I'll miss his 2008 elections coverage. Abbas Zeineddin, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
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