Listen to this interview here.
TV journalist Tim Russert made a name for himself with interviews of politicians and heads of state. But Russert, of Buffalo, N.Y., also embraced the stories of everyday Americans.
In 2005, Russert interviewed James T. Malloy, a fellow Buffalo native living in Washington, as the StoryCorps oral history project launched its mobile booths. Malloy was a second-generation firefighter before becoming the doorkeeper of the House of Representatives.
As part of his job, Malloy introduced presidents visiting Congress to make their State of the Union speeches. As a television audience watched, Malloy would announce, “Mr. Speaker, the president of the United States.”
“The first one was President Jerry Ford,” Malloy tells Russert. “I was perspiring and everything. I was only in the job a short period of time about three or four weeks.”
In 1994, the doorkeeper role was abolished. “My last official act was to introduce Newt Gingrich as the speaker, then I raced down [and] filed my papers,” Malloy says. “I retired.”
Russert, who hosted Meet The Press until his death on Friday, is being remembered Wednesday by family and friends at a memorial service in Washington.