Tim Russert, host of “Meet the Press” and NBC News’ senior vice president and Washington bureau chief, died Friday of a heart attack at age 58. Earlier this year, Time magazine named Russert one of the 100 most influential people in the world and he was going to be presented with the Fred Dressler Lifetime Achievement award at Syracuse University’s Mirror Awards on June 23.

Two years ago, Russert spoke to WWD about politics and the state of fatherhood in America today. With the presidential campaign more than two years away, he speculated on a potential Democratic candidate and was prescient about the challenges facing Sen. Hillary Clinton. “It’s a wide-open race,” he said at the time. “This is the first time in 56 years that you will not have an incumbent president or vice president seeking nomination. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton is clearly the front-runner, but in every presidential primary I’ve covered, an alternative to the front-runner emerges.”

Before joining NBC News, Russert worked as counselor in the New York Governor’s office in Albany and a special counsel in the United States Senate from 1977 to 1982. He is survived by his wife, Maureen Orth, a special correspondent at Vanity Fair, and son Luke.

For complete coverage, see Monday’s issue of WWD.

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