>Tim Russert dead at 58

>I must say, this was the only man I would wake up before 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning for.

NBC announced that Meet the Press host Tim Russert, 58, collapsed of a heart attack while in the newsroom.

Political heavyweights and fellow journalists all released statements praising Russert’s life.

President Bush:

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.

Sen. Barack Obama:

There wasn’t a better interviewer in television.

Sen. John McCain:

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.

Tom Brokaw:

I think I can invoke personal privilege and say this news division will not be the same without his strong, clear voice. He will be missed as he was loved — greatly.

Out of all the Sunday talk shows, Meet the Press was my absolute favorite. Tim Russert had a style that was a blend of stern, yet relaxed. He knew how to press guests to get the answers he wanted without showing any aggressive manners, something 99 percent of interviewers on television are unable to do.

To me, Russert represented what it’s like to be in journalism. He represented a kind of professionalism that has yet to be matched. His determination to his job and his love of his profession has influenced me to become the best reporter I can be.

My Sunday mornings will never be the same without Russert. He will be sorely missed.