by Steve Handlesman
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The passing of a giant on our NBC family: Tim Russert died suddenly on Friday at age 58.
He was the moderator of Meet The Press, the Washington Bureau Chief of NBC News, one of the toughest questioners in all of journalism also a best selling author.
Tim Russert's unexpected passing shocked the NBC family and Tim's many admiring competitors in TV radio and print.
But as the sad news gets out it will be sure to shake up the many politicians here who feared doing a one on one with Tim but loved to see him skewer everybody.
Tim Russert loved his job.
And when his face got that fierce expression and his questions got tough, no Sunday political show host did it better.
In this year's presidential primary debates Russert played a major role.
To get to the White House, candidates sometimes reluctantly sat down for one on ones
Tim ran the Washington Bureau and appeared often on MSNBC.
He was respected, even revered, inside NBC and around Washington.
When Bush White House insider Scooter Libby claimed Russert leaked the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame Wilson to him, Russert went to the grand jury to deny it and Libby went to jail.
Tim Russert was a working class catholic guy from Buffalo.
He so respected his dad, big Russ, he wrote a book about him that became a best seller.