Gwen Ifill, the veteran Washington journalist who was managing editor and co-anchor of "PBS News Hour," died Monday from complications of cancer. She was 61 and had been ill for the past year, but only recently left the air. Her death was announced by PBS.
"It is with extremely heavy hearts that we must share that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away this afternoon following several months of cancer treatment. She was surrounded by loving family and many friends whom we ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers....
“Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change. She was a mentor to so many across the industry and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum. She was a journalist’s journalist and set an example for all around her."
Ifill was on "News Hour" and the host of “Washington Week" over 17 years with PBS. She moderated two vice-presidential debates and had previously reported for the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC News and Baltimore Evening Sun. She was the author of the bestseller “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.” PBS obituary.
From co-anchor Judy Woodruff: “She was not only my dear friend, she was the best partner one can imagine, because she was committed to fairness and to the finest in journalism. You always knew when working with Gwen that she had your back. I’m crushed that she won’t be sitting by my side on the NewsHour any more, but her mark on this program and on American journalism will endure.”
Woodruff informs the audience on tonight's "News Hour:"
Both President Obama and President-elect Trump praised Ifill.
Obama spoke at a Monday afternoon press conference: "Gwen was a friend of ours. 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."
This was posted on the Trump Facebook page: "We are saddened by the passing of Gwen Ifill and extend our deepest condolences to her family and loved ones. Gwen was a broadcasting pioneer, shattering barriers throughout her career and blazing a path for future generations following in her considerable footsteps. Her presence and legacy will be felt forever."