Louis Burgdorf and Tim Russert on April 22, 2007.
had just gotten off the plane Friday from Washington, D.C., on his
way home to East Hampton
for the Father's Day weekend, when his
cell phone rang.
...Shocked and hardly able to believe what he'd heard, Mr. Burgdorf called colleagues at NBC.
was a motivating force in my life," Mr. Burgdorf
said on Sunday."He
was a huge role model."
A graduate of East Hampton High School
, class of 2003, Mr. Burgdorf
was a senior studying political science at James Madison University
landed an internship with "Meet the Press."The two months he
worked there led to a full-time job at NBC's Washington bureau
, where Mr. Russert, in addition to his
on-air duties, was the bureau chief.
In a tribute to his boss written over the weekend, Mr. Burgdorf
recalled that "from day one, Tim made an effort to get to know who I was.
"In my case, he
would call me a list of department store names, ending with my last name, Burgdorf
would say, 'There he
is!Gimbel's, Macy's, Saks and Burgdorf.What are you up to?Go get em, go get em!'
"Tim was the reason that people have devoted their lives to NBC
," Mr. Burgdorf