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Living for the End...

This weekend, there have been many tributes to NBC's Washington bureau chief and Meet the Press moderator Tim Russert. Everyone's talking about what a great newsman he was and how he changed the face of political reporting. His friends have testified on what a wonderful friend he was, and how he was concerned and involved in their lives beyond the office. Even though he worked hard, he also played hard, and enjoyed the benefits of his lifestyle -- not to the point of excess, though.

Through it all, Tim loved his family. He wrote a book, Big Russ & Me, that chronicled his relationship with the man he admired most, his father. His son, Luke, talked about how Tim would spend time with him and his friends. Tim probably wasn't a saint, although he was a man of faith, but he was genuine and sincere, and that resonated with everyone he came in contact with.

For me, Tim was an integral part of NBC News -- my TV information source. I loved the way he explained things in layman's terms. As Granny would say, he could really bring the news.

Of course, all the talk about Tim Russert's death brings up one of my "semi-secrets." I love obituaries. I know it sounds a little morbid, but the writer in me is fascinated by the possibility of summing up an entire life in three to five paragraphs. What do you scrap? What do you keep? What's important enough to make the final cut of your life? I think it's important to live each moment so it's "obituary-worthy." In other words, make your life count for something. Tim certainly did.


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