Tomorrow is Fathers' Day and I can't let the occasion pass without a shout out to the man who wrote the book on his own father and on the fathers from the greatest generation. Yesterday, NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert died a premature death. We all will miss his incisive and insightful interrogatories and analysis.
I can't say we knew other except me welcoming Tim and his show, Meet the Press, into my living room most Sunday mornings, and a few passing introductions at various Georgetown social events. But I did identify with the man: our common birth year, Jesuit education, Woodstock music festival attendance, upstate New York domicile, and the shared Holy Trinity confirmation class of our respective children.
An honorary degree Hoya, Tim Russert speaks with University president Jack DeGioia '79 at basketball anniversary party
Journalist Maureen Orth and spouse Tim Russert chat with former Hoya basketball player and coach Tom O'Keefe '50
The very last time I saw him in person was a few months ago at the 4:00 pm GU hospital weekend mass. There, standing together in the rear of the chapel, we exchanged the sign of peace. I also remember walking down the street with my own father in Cleveland Park nearly ten years ago when we suddenly bumped into Tim emerging from a video store. We chatted briefly. He was very cordial to us as he inquired about my father's executive career in broadcasting beginning at NBC in New York in the early days of television.
Tim wore his sports loyalties on his sleeve. He held no special allegiance for Georgetown athletic teams, other than perhaps as the local Jesuit connection. But when Ted Leonsis hosted a kickoff party for the 100th anniversary of Georgetown basketball at his home in northern Virginia in 2006, Tim and his wife Maureen graciously made an appearance. In this gathering of a couple of hundred people, he clearly enjoyed himself both with those he already knew as well as those he met for the first time.
Tim had a gift with people and the extraordinary outpouring of remembrances reflect this. As many have already stated: I feel like a have lost a close friend.
Requiescat in pace.
Tim Russert flanked by GU hoop Hall of Famers Jim Brown '66 and Tom O'Keefe '50 with spouse Faith
Hoya superstar Patrick Ewing, Sr. '85 makes his point with Tim and host Ted Leonsis '77 at 100th anniversary prequel party