I will always remember Tim Russert for his soft voice, tough questions and sense of family that was evident in his respect for his father and family. I have from the beginning enjoyed his style as well as his attention to detail in reporting, but what stood out for me was his primary focus in life, and that was family. Though he was one of the best political reporters and analysts in the business of government news his real everyday man persona helped us to realize that he wasn't simply an image on the TV screen but very real person, and a very good journalist.
I have followed his reporting for years. His in depth, to the point questions throughout his career have made him a force in journalism today. But I discovered another man in the book, Big Russ and Me which he wrote to honor his father's hard work and his focus on what was important - family. Within those pages I saw a man who had in many ways a childhood much like my own. His natural optimism came from hard times and a willingness to find that brighter side in all he did. I will miss his smile, his care for everything political and his willingness to not be the center of any interview. Instead he did his reporting and interviews as a gatherer of the information in a careful and decisive manner. He made it almost easy to understand American politics, as well as believe it wasn't all bad.
Our prayers are with his family and NBC where he guided so many. The hole his death has created will not be filled anytime soon.