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PASSINGS / Timothy J. Russert

Father of late TV moderator

September 26, 2009|Times Staff And Wire Reports

Timothy J. Russert, 85, the father of the late "Meet the Press" moderator Tim Russert and the inspiration for his son's bestselling book about their relationship and lessons learned, died Thursday of natural causes in Buffalo, N.Y., his family said.

The elder Russert, known as "Big Russ," grew up in South Buffalo and drove a city sanitation truck and a Buffalo News delivery truck to support his family.

The younger Russert, who died of a heart attack at 58 in June 2008, paid tribute to his father's blue-collar values in the 2004 bestseller "Big Russ & Me." The book was a series of lessons the journalist said he learned from his father, who was a World War II veteran.

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news.obits@latimes.com

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