Cover image for Big Russ and me
Big Russ and me
Russert, Tim, 1950-2008.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, [2004]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 582 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates (large print) : illustrations, (some color) ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN4874.R78 A3 2004B Adult Large Print Large Print

On Order



Tim Russert is perhaps the most admired man in television news. As NBC's senior vice president and Washington bureau chief, he has helped shape the way today's news is reported and analyzed. As producer and moderator of Meet the Press , he has created and sustained the longest running TV news program of all time with panache and dedication. And as the anchor of The Tim Russert Show , he has garnered a huge and growing fan base with his quick wit and straight-talking candor. And every Tim Russert fan knows that Tim's #1 hero, hands down, is his dad--Big Russ.

BIG RUSS & ME offers a charming, down-to-earth look at Russert's roots, growing up a hometown guy in working-class Buffalo in the 1950s. From the indelible bond that links him to his father, to the lessons learned from his old-fashioned Catholic upbringing, from his passion for the Buffalo Bills, to the importance of patriotism in everyday life, Russert's reflections hit the very epicenter of American values.

Rich with personal anecdotes and Russert's easygoing style and straight-talking charm, BIG RUSS & ME will be embraced by his myriad fans--and will delight dads across the country on Father's Day and for years to come.

Author Notes

Journalist Tim Russert was born in Buffalo, New York on May 7, 1950. He earned a B.A. from John Carroll University and a Juris Doctor from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. He was admitted to the bar in both New York and the District of Columbia. After graduating from law school, he worked on New York Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan's successful senatorial campaign in 1976 and served as his chief of staff from 1977 to 1982. He then worked on New York Democrat Mario Cuomo's successful gubernatorial campaign in 1982, and worked in the governor's office from 1983 to 1984.

He joined the NBC Washington Bureau in 1984. He became Washington Bureau Chief in 1988 and was later promoted to senior vice president of NBC News. He became the host of Meet the Press in 1991. He won numerous awards during his career as a journalist including the Edward R. Murrow Award, the John Peter Zenger Freedom of the Press Award, the American Legion Journalism Award, and a 2005 Emmy Award for his coverage of former President Ronald Reagan's funeral.

In 2004, he wrote an autobiography Big Russ and Me about his life growing up and the values his father taught him like the importance of maintaining strong family values, the reverence of faith, and of never taking a short cut to reach a goal. In 2006, he released Wisdom of Our Fathers: Lessons and Letters from Daughters and Sons, which contained letters he received from people, detailing their own experiences with their fathers, in response to his first book. He died due to a heart attack on June 13, 2008.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Russert offers a nostalgic look at the childhood and formative years of himself and his nation. He merges characteristics of the NBC Going Home0 series, which features news anchors revisiting their roots, and Tom Brokaw's The Greatest Generation0 . Russert celebrates his father's generation, young men who went off to Europe for World War II and returned to create the largest middle class the U.S. had ever known, a generation known for their stoicism and sense of duty. Taciturn about his war experience, Russert's father only slowly recalled his experiences: a friend who saved his life, facing life and death so far from home, smuggling a mascot red chow overseas. Russert recalls his tight-knit neighborhood in working-class Buffalo, dominated by the Catholic Church and the American Legion. His father worked for the sanitation department, with a second job driving a newspaper delivery truck, to provide for the family. Neighbors looked out for each other as children played hide-and-seek and capture the flag, listened to radio shows, and watched television favorites, including Davy Crockett0 . Russert recalls his early interest in television news shows, watching Meet the Press0 interviews with Nixon,ennedy, and Castro. At the center of it all was Russert's father, a man the news anchor has unabashedly declared as his hero. --Vanessa Bush Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Meet the newsman's father in this stupendously entertaining book. The senior Tim Russert served in WWII, married and settled in South Buffalo, N.Y., worked days for the Sanitation Department, drove a night truck for the local evening paper and raised four kids. The younger Russert's memoir begins as a tribute to his dad and the lessons he taught through the years, but also takes ample time to tell how Russert junior grew up and became the moderator of Meet the Press. His neighborhood in the 1950s was tightly knit, Irish Catholic and anchored by the institutions of marriage, family, church and school. Nuns and Legionnaires shaped young Russert's character; in high school, his Jesuit instructors strengthened and solidified it. John Kennedy's short life and career still resonated when Russert began law school in 1970. He worked on Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1976 campaign, then on the senator's staff. A friend of Moynihan provided the link that brought Russert to NBC and the Today show. He first appeared as a panelist on Meet the Press in 1990, becoming moderator in 1991. Throughout his private and public life, Russert continually turned to his father for advice, and the older man's common sense served the younger pretty much without fail. The memoir is candid and generous, so warm-hearted that readers should forgive the occasional didactic touch (and it's a soft touch). There are hard ways to learn life lessons; fortunately, readers have Russert to thank for sharing his with them. 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW. Agent, Bob Barnett. (May 10) Forecast: Ads in the national press as well as the Buffalo News, along with TV satellite and radio drive time tours, and a 17-city author tour, should help Russert's memoir to take off. Readers of Tom Brokaw's books will enjoy it, as will dads of all ages. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Russert, NBC News Washington bureau chief and Meet the Press host, enters the memoir market with this anecdotal tribute to his father, "Big Russ." Growing up in South Buffalo, NY, Russert had a childhood typical of many baby boomers living in urban areas in the 1950s and 1960s. What makes this memoir somewhat different is its intentionally didactic nature. With titles such as "Work," "Faith," and "Discipline," the chapters detail Russert's relationship with his father and the lessons he learned and then taught his own son, Luke. Like works by fellow broadcasters Tom Brokaw (The Greatest Generation) and Dan Rather (The American Dream), this is part folksy wisdom and part tribute to the World War II generation. While not an original concept, it is a pleasing and genial read and may be in demand from patrons familiar with Russert. Recommended for public libraries with journalism, media, or biography collections.-Katherine E. Merrill, SUNY at Geneseo Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.