The family of Timothy J. Russert Sr. issued a statement saying he died Thursday of natural causes. He was 85.
The elder Russert, known as "Big Russ," grew up in South Buffalo and drove a city sanitation truck and a Buffalo News delivery truck to support his family.
The younger Russert, who died of a heart attack at 58 in June 2008, paid tribute to his father's blue-collar values in the 2004 best-selling book, "Big Russ & Me." The book was a series of lessons the journalist said he learned from his father, who was a World War II veteran.
Details of funeral plans were not immediately available Friday morning.
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