Luminaries Remember Tim Russert

Notables from the news and political worlds are mourning the loss of Tim Russert, host of NBC News' "Meet the Press."

Russert died of an apparent heart attack today at age 58.

Here is what they are saying:

President George W. Bush

Written statement: "Laura and I are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of Tim Russert. Those of us who knew and worked with Tim, his many friends, and the millions of Americans who loyally followed his career on the air will all miss him.

"As the longest-serving host of the longest-running program in the history of television, 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.

"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. We will keep them in our prayers."

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.

To reporters: "We all, I think, have heard the news about Tim Russert. I've known Tim Russert since I first spoke at the [Democratic National] Convention in 2004. He's somebody who, over time, I came to consider not only a journalist but a friend.

"There wasn't a better interviewer in TV, not a more thoughtful analyst of our politics, and he was also one of the finest men I knew -- somebody who cared about America, cared about the issues, cared about family.

"I am grief-stricken with the loss, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his family. And I hope that even though Tim is irreplaceable, that the standard that he set in his professional life and his family life are standards that we all carry with us in our own lives."

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

Written statement: "I am very saddened by Tim Russert's sudden death. Cindy and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the Russert family as they cope with this shocking loss and remember the life and legacy of a loving father, husband and the preeminent political journalist of his generation. 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. I was proud to call him a friend, and in the coming days, we will pay tribute to a life whose contributions to us all will long endure."

To reporters: "Tim Russert was at the top of his profession. He was a man of honesty and integrity. He was hard, but he was always fair. We will miss him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. And we know that Tim Russert leaves a legacy of integrity, of the highest level of journalism, and we'll miss him. We'll miss him a lot.

"Again, he was hard. He was fair. He was at the top of his profession. He loved his country. He loved the Buffalo Bills. And most of all, he loved his family."

Tom Brokaw, NBC News

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