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Congressman Higgins, Buffalo History Museum announce homecoming for Tim Russert exhibit

by jmaloni


Wed, Feb 12th 2014 01:35 pm

Office and personal artifacts from Buffalo native and broadcasting legend to be displayed in Buffalo

Congressman Brian Higgins and The Buffalo History Museum Executive Director Melissa Brown have announced plans to relocate the "Inside Tim Russert's Office: If It's Sunday, It's 'Meet the Press' " exhibit currently at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., to The Buffalo History Museum in Western New York.

"I am honored to be a part of the effort to bring a very personal piece of Tim Russert's life and work home to Buffalo," Higgins said. "We are thankful to the Russert family and commend the great cooperation between The Buffalo History Museum and Newseum to make this all happen. Tim and the Buffalo community always shared a unique love and respect for one another, and with this move that bond lives on."

"I am delighted for Buffalo and Western New York, that we have the opportunity to safeguard and share Tim Russert's story," Brown said. "Captured vividly within his curated and atmospheric office, this is a dynamic story of an extraordinary man who lived his life with passion, dedication, and never forgot his hometown."

She added, "My deepest gratitude to the Russert family for trusting The Buffalo History Museum. I am also most thankful to Congressman Higgins, the members of his staff - both here and in Washington - and the staff at the Newseum for securing this perfect opportunity."

Born in Buffalo in 1950, Russert died suddenly in 2008 at just 58 years old. His wife, Maureen Orth, and son, Luke Russert, survived him. 

Russert is best known as the moderator for NBC's "Meet the Press." In his 17 years as host, he interviewed the world's most influential people, ranging from the pope to presidents, and helped to carry the show to its rank as Sunday's most-watched news program. 

In 2009, the Newseum, a museum dedicated to journalism, opened an exhibit that featured artifacts from Russert's NBC office. Even in Washington, D.C., the exhibit exudes Russert's connection to Buffalo, including his Buffalo Bills memorabilia.

The Newseum's Russert exhibit was always intended to be temporary. For nearly a year, the Russert family, The Buffalo History Museum, Newseum and Higgins have been working together on a plan to bring the exhibit to Buffalo.

Plans are underway to move the exhibit from Washington to Buffalo in June, with a projected opening date in the fall. The Russert family and The Buffalo History Museum are working to expand the exhibit at The Buffalo History Museum to include additional pieces that tell Tim's Buffalo story. 

Before beginning his career in journalism, Russert served as chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and counsel to Gov. Mario Cuomo. He was a was a best-selling author for his autobiography "Big Russ and Me," which shared the story of his south Buffalo roots and family, including his close relationship with his father.

Russert's work with NBC began long before his time with "Meet the Press," when he served as senior vice president of Washington operations and Washington bureau chief. In 2003, he was inducted into the Buffalo Broadcasters Hall of Fame.

Located in the only remaining building from the 1901 Pan-Am Exhibit in Buffalo's Museum District is The Buffalo History Museum. The annual calendar includes a wide array of programs, exhibits, tours and events, including the "M&T Third Fridays" "Giants of Buffalo" program. All tell the stories of both ordinary and extraordinary people - many with a Western New York connection.

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