A talented, ebullient Irish-Catholic kid who made good first in Democratic politics and then MSM and never forgot his family, his friends, his colleagues or Buffalo. A great American.
Here’s how I opened a review of Russert’s 2004 memoir, Big Russ & Me:
BUFFALO’S PALACE BURLESQUE THEATER entertained the men of that town for 60 years, and tempted the teenagers for just as long. A young Tim Russert and some of his pals from Canisius High School summoned the courage to try and bluff their way in one day in the mid-’60s, only to be asked their age and whether Father Sturm, the Prefect of Discipline at Canisius, knew they were there.
“None of us could think of an answer to that one,” Russert admits in his new book, Big Russ & Me, “and we skulked away in defeat.”
That’s the sort of anecdote that powers Russert’s wonderful memoir of both a South Buffalo and a Catholic community which no longer exist, even though Big Russ, Russert’s father, whose own life provides the springboard for what is part autobiography, part sociological study, part political history, is still very much with us.
Alex Wong / Getty Images file
Father, son and grandson
celebrate Thanksgiving Day, 2003
(HT for the Photo: Powder Tracks)