Gwen Ifill, Longtime PBS Journalist, Dies at 61

Daniel Holloway
Variety

Veteran television journalist Gwen Ifill, the longtime host of PBS’ “Washington Week” and co-anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” has died. She was 61.

A PBS spokesperson confirmed that Ifill passed away Monday after a months-long battle with cancer.

“Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change,” Sara Just, “PBS NewsHour” executive producer and senior VP of public television station WETA, said in a statement. “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. So many people in the audience felt that they knew and adored her. She had a tremendous combination of warmth and authority. She was stopped on the street routinely by people who just wanted to give her a hug and considered her a friend after years of seeing her on TV.  We will forever miss her terribly.”

Ifill joined PBS as the moderator of “Washington Week,” the public broadcaster’s Sunday-morning public-affairs program, in 1999 and served as the show’s managing editor. In 2013 she was named co-anchor and co-managing editor with Judy Woodruff of week-night evening-news broadcast “PBS NewsHour.”

Prior to joining PBS, Ifill served as NBC News’ chief congressional and political correspondent. Previous stops included the New York Times, where she was a White House correspondent, and the Washington Post, where she was a local and national political reporter. She moderated the 2004 vice-presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards and the 2008 vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

Ifill’s book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” was published by Doubleday in 2009.

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