Colleagues are reacting with sadness to the news that Tim Russert died at the age of 58 today in NBC's Washington Bureau.
Watch Tom Brokaw report the news:
Watch Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell remember Russert:
Watch Andrea Mitchell cry remembering Russert:
Watch Barbara Walters remember Tim's "wonderful" (if not pretty) face:
We are heartbroken at the sudden passing of Tim Russert. We have lost a beloved member of our NBC Universal family and the news world has lost one of its finest. The enormity of this loss cannot be overstated. More than a journalist, Tim was a remarkable family man. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Maureen, their son, Luke, and Tim's entire extended family.
This is a loss for the entire nation. Everyone at NBC News is in shock and absolutely devastated. He was our respected colleague, mentor, and dear friend. Words can not express our heartbreak. Our thoughts and prayers are with Maureen, Luke, Big Russ and all of Tim's family.
"I feel so bad," she said. "He was such a good friend."
"Somebody just called from the television studio and said have you heard the horrible news about Tim and I thought he must have been in a plane crash. That he had a heart attack and just died. It's incomprehensible.
"He's a giant and he's the best," she said. "I loved him."
"I'm in complete, shock."
Tim Russert was a great newsman who helped set the standard for political reporting and public affairs programming. His fine work made all of us better and benefited the Nation as a result. Tim was also a great friend to so many of us. But above all, Tim was a man devoted to his family. Our thoughts and prayers are with them and everyone at NBC News at this devastating time.
Tim projected vitality -- always excited about the stories he covered and intrigued by the people he interviewed. That's what made him so good, and his passing so hard to absorb. His competitors -- just like his co-workers -- held Tim in the highest of regard.
No one could see Tim in a room and not smile.
He brought so much joy and curiosity and sheer vitality to all our lives. As a journalist, he would set out like a great explorer. You couldn't wait to see what he discovered every day in the new world.
He was a defining American newsman. Love of country, love of family poured through him -- onto the screen, into the work, into stories at dinner, into the little chuckle that reminded us -- aren't we lucky to be here in this big life.
Tim loved everything about politics and journalism -- because he believed in it. Every day he brought Washington home to his viewers and made all of us better. My thoughts and prayers are with his family -- especially Maureen, Luke and his father Russ.
Tim's passing is a loss not only to his family and many friends, it is a loss to good journalism and to our country.
Tim, first and foremost, was devout in his faith and deeply devoted to his family. He loved his country with a passion and became a classic example of the ideal American journalist.
Tim had become an important part of our political process. He will be especially missed in this historic presidential election year.
Tim Russert was a beacon of quality journalism. At a time when quality journalism is in increasingly short supply, Tim Russert was a leader for what is best in American journalism. He was tough but air, pulled no punches, played no favorites.
As an interviewer, he had few, if any, peers.
Tim was the best of our profession. He asked the best questions and then he listened for the answer. We became very close friends over the years. He delighted in scooping me and I felt the same way when I scooped him. When you slipped one past ol' Russert, you felt as though you had hit a home run off the best pitcher in the league. I just loved Tim and I will miss him more than I can say, and my heart goes out to his son, Luke, and his wife, Maureen.
The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz:
You don't make a career like Russert's without loving the nuts and bolts of politics, the shop-talk, the tallies and projections. His love of the craft was palpable, and rightly commanded attention.
Tim Russert, who died Friday at the age of fifty-eight, was a gifted and cunning Sunday-morning interrogator who, while never quite disturbing his genuine persona or television's conventions, used his outsized position on "Meet the Press" to rattle many more politicians than any of his on-air rivals did.
Tim Russert was a great competitor and a good friend. I am obviously shocked and dismayed by this news and extend my thoughts and prayers to his son Luke -- he was so proud of you -- to his wife Maureen and to the rest of his family; especially his beloved father. Tim and I worked together on Catholic causes, and I will greatly miss him.
It's a shocking piece of news. There were limits to the Russert style of gotcha-interviewing. But he took political accountability to new levels in journalism, and always treated his subjects fairly. He was also extremely kind and courteous in my own interactions with him. Say a prayer for his family, if prayer is your thing. Especially his dad, for whom this coming Sunday may be extremely painful.