Saturday, June 14, 2008

A Great Father Dies

Tim Russert, 1950-2008

Tim Russert, known to most Americans as the host and moderator of NBC's "Meet The Press", died suddenly today. He was 58 years old.

He was an icon of American journalism, who asked tough but fair questions of politicians of all stripes. His interviews were always fair, and he never belittled or insulted the people he had on his show. That's pretty impressive, for someone who did it for almost 25 years.

I thought he was just a darn good journalist until I read a book he wrote, "Wisdom of Our Fathers". I received this book as a Father's Day gift two years ago. This was a follow on book to one he wrote two years earlier, entitled "Big Russ and Me". In this first book on fatherhood Russert talks about his own father, who was a sanitation worker and a truck driver, and what a great dad he was. The second book (which I received) stemmed from letters regarding fatherhood that Russert had received from readers of his first book. Russert also sprinkled in some stories regarding his relationship with his own son, Luke.

It was obvious from his treatment of the subject of fatherhood that Russert himself was doing a darn good job of being a father himself. Russert always sprinkled bits about his family into his show and interviews, and it was obvious that he placed great stock on being a good father. His son liked his dad so much that he had himself tatooed with his father and grandfather's name.

Fathers often are overshadowed in the parenting process by mothers (who are, admittedly, extremely important). I admired the way that Tim Russert reminded people that fathers are important, too. He served as a good role model for fathers everywhere. I am saddened by his passing.

Russert had just returned from a vacation in Italy with his family, which was to celebrate his son's graduation from college.


hollywoodjaded said...

Thank-you, Joe, for blogging about Tim Russert. I am very saddened by his passing as well.

Anonymous said...

What a sad day. He will be missed.

Ange said...

I didn't know of Tim Russert other than seeing him on TV occasionaly, but watching the tribute to him tonight on NBC was particularly moving. He did have a neat, honest spark in his eyes, and seemed so genuine and intelligent in his interviews.

Have a Happy Father's Day. I could not be the kind of mother I want to be without my husband being the kind of dad he is. I never knew what loving him meant until I watched him (and continue to watch him) be a father. Amazing, you dads! (I'm also a daddy's girl.)

Anonymous said...

I saw this first thing on the news this morning. I was shocked. I feel for his family to have this happen right before Father's Day.

He will be missed.

Emily said...

I was saddened to learn about this yesterday. He seemed like such a good man.

Anonymous said...

You have written a good tribute to Tim Russert. He touched many lives through his books and discussions about fatherhood which emphasized the importance of the day to day example fathers from all walks of life make in the lives of their children. Reading your blog, and the blogs of other fathers on the Autism Hub, I would like to give all of you a tribute for your loving fatherhood and for the great example you give your children.