Garbage-collector’s son who binned many an ego

Tim Russert, the chubby but stern face of American political journalism, “the greatest political interviewer of our time and maybe all time,” has passed away after a “sudden heart attack”. He was 58.

Moderator of the flagship Sunday morning program Meet the Press and the Washington bureau chief of NBC, the proud son of a garbage-collector was recording voiceovers for tomorrow’s broadcast when he collapsed. Author of two best-selling books, Big Russ and me and Wisdom of our Fathers, Russert was on Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world this year, at No. 72.

Larry King, the host of CNN’s eponymous interview show, said in tribute:

“He had the ability to walk with kings, and to walk with the guy picking up your laundry. He was Tim the Irish guy.”

Read the New York Times obituary

Time magazine appreciation