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Gwen Ifill, Award-Winning Journalist and Author, Dies at 61

By Staff

 

Gwen Ifill, an award-winning television and print journalist, as well as noted debate moderator, died on Monday, Nov. 14, after losing a battle with cancer, at the age of 61.

According to “PBS NewsHour” executive producer Sara Just, Ifill died in a hospice facility in Washington.  ifill

Ifill was the moderator and managing editor for Washington Week, and co-anchor and co-managing editor, with Judy Woodruff, of PBS NewsHour.

She began her career in 1981, with the Baltimore Evening Sun, and, most recently, moderated a debate between Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in February.

A New York native, Ifill graduated from Simmons College in 1977, and had also previously held positions with The Washington Post and The New York Times, before joining PBS in 1999.

She had also been the author of, “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” which was published on inauguration day in 2009.

“Gwen was a friend of ours,” President Obama said at a press conference on Monday. “She was an extraordinary journalist. She always kept faith with the fundamental responsibilities of her profession, asking tough questions, holding people in power accountable, and defending a strong and free press that makes our democracy work. I always appreciated Gwen’s reporting, even when I was at the receiving end of one of her tough and thorough interviews. Whether she reported from a convention floor or from the field, whether she sat at the debate moderator’s table or at the anchor’s desk, she not only informed today’s citizens, but she also inspired tomorrow’s journalists. She was an especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her integrity, tenacity and intellect, and for whom she blazed a trail as one-half of the first all-female anchor team on network news. Gwen did her country a great service. Michelle and I join her family, and her colleagues, and everybody else who loved her in remembering her fondly today.”

View additional tributes to Ifill, posted on Twitter, below:

We mourn the loss of an outstanding and beloved journalist and friend. Gwen Ifill will be deeply missed.

.@gwenifill I’m heartbroken and not ready for the past tense with you. Sending all the love in the world to your family and loved ones.

Heartbroken to learn Gwen Ifill has passed away. She was my hero, a woman who deserved all the praise she received. Honest and true

With deep and profound sadness. My friend, — the @NewsHouranchor @gwenifill has gone on to glory. We will miss her voice, her works & more

Gwen Ifill interned at Boston Herald-American. “They didn’t know what a college-educated black woman was & they didn’t know how to treat me”

 

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