Timothy “Big Russ” Russert Passes Away

By Chris Ariens 

The father of the late Tim Russert, and grandfather of NBC News correspondent Luke Russert, Timothy Russert passed away today.

“While he was affectionately known to the world as ‘Big Russ,’ he carried no more important nor meaningful titles than those of father, grandfather, great-grandfather, patriot and friend,” reads a statement from his family. “We warmly thank all those who were inspired by his life and his lessons.”

In 2004, NBC’s Washington Bureau Chief and moderator of “Meet the Press” Tim Russert wrote “Big Russ and Me, Father and Son: Lessons in Life.” The book was a collection of personal stories of the lessons young Tim learned from his plainspoken, World War II veteran father. It became a New York Times Best Seller.

Russert, 85, passed away peacefully with his family at his side from natural causes.

Tim Russert preceded his father in death, June 13, 2008 of a heart attack while preparing for that Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”