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FAST FACTS: Tim Russert Biography

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Tim Russert (AP)

• Tim Russert: 1950-2008

• Managing Editor and Moderator of "Meet the Press" and political analyst for "NBC Nightly News" and the "TODAY" program. He anchors "The Tim Russert Show," a weekly interview program on MSNBC. Russert also serves as senior vice president and Washington bureau chief of NBC News.

• Born in Buffalo, New York on May 7, 1950. Graduate of Canisius High School, John Carroll University and graduated with honors from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

• Joined NBC News in 1984. He took over the helm of "Meet the Press" in December 1991.

• In April 1985, Russert supervised the live broadcasts of the "TODAY" program from Rome, negotiating and arranging an appearance by Pope John Paul II. In 1986 and 1987 Russert led NBC News weeklong broadcasts from South America, Australia and China.

• His two books — "Big Russ and Me" in 2004 and "Wisdom of Our Fathers" in 2006 — were both New York Times #1 bestsellers.

• In 2008, Time Magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

• TV Guide selected his use of the white dry eraser board (Florida, Florida, Florida) on Election Night 2000 as one of the 100 Most Memorable TV Moments in history. The Washington Post credits him with coining the phrase red state and blue state to explain the nations political divide.

• He is a trustee of the Freedom Forums Newseum and a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater Washington Boys and Girls Club and Americas Promise -Alliance for Youth.

• Irish America magazine named him one of the top 100 Irish Americans in the country and he was selected as a Fellow of the Commission of European Communities.

• Before joining NBC News, Russert was a counselor in the New York Governors office in Albany in 1983 and 1984 and a special counsel in the United States Senate from 1977 to 1982.

• Admitted to the bar in New York and the District of Columbia.

• Married to Maureen Orth, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine. They live in Washington, D.C. They have a son, Luke.

Awards:

• 2005: Emmy for coverage of the funeral of President Reagan.

• Golden Plate Award of the Academy of Achievement.

• 2000: Joan S. Barone Award and the Annenberg Centers Walter Cronkite Award for "Meet the Press" interviews with George W. Bush and Al Gore

• 2001: Edward R. Murrow Award for Overall Excellence in Television Journalism for March 2000 interview of Senator John McCain

• Russert received the John Peter Zenger Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, the Veterans of Foreign Wars News Media Award, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society Journalism Award, the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism, the David Brinkley Award for Excellence in Communication, the Catholic Academy for Communications Gabriel Award, and was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame.

Source: MSNBC Interactive