Tim Russert collapsed and died today while at work in NBC’s Washington bureau. He was 58.

While Russert had his critics, including, from time to time, this magazine, no one can deny his importance or his reach, especially in this political season. We offer readers this archival look at his early days as the network’s Washington bureau chief. An excerpt:

“The distinct advantage I have, I know what goes on inside the closed doors journalists stand outside of,” Russert says. “You have to realize, fifty percent of a politician’s day is spent either reading, watching, talking to, or preparing to talk to the media.” Now he’s on “the other side,” he says. “When I’m interviewing someone, I know what exercise they’ve gone through, what points they’re trying to make, what questions they’re trying to avoid.”

Read the full article as it appeared in CJR’s 1992 September/October issue.

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The Editors