It came to us as a shock.
Tim Russert, NBC Anchor and the longest-tenured host of the Sunday talk show "Meet the Press." died of a heart attack . Russert, 58,
Russert was NBC's Washington bureau chief. He wrote two best-selling books, including the much-loved "Big Russ and Me" about his relationship with his father.
NBC interrupted its regular programming with news of Russert's death and continued for several hours of coverage without commercial break. The network announced that Tom Brokaw would anchor a special edition of "Meet the Press" on Sunday, dedicated to Russert.
NBC says that Russert died of a heart attack. Michael A. Newman, Russert's internist, said resuscitation was begun immediately and continued at Sibley Memorial Hospital, to no avail. An autopsy was pending, Newman said.
Russert, of Buffalo, N.Y., took the helm of the Sunday news show in December 1991 and turned it into the nation's most widely watched program of its type.
Russert was also a senior vice president at NBC, and this year Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
He had Buffalo's blue-collar roots, a Jesuit education, a law degree and a Democratic pedigree that came from his turn as an aide to the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York.
The network said on its Web site that Russert had been recording voiceovers for this Sunday's "Meet The Press" when he was stricken.