Iconic journalist and political moderator Gwen Ifill has died.
The 61-year-old co-anchor of PBS’ “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff, reportedly passed away on Monday of endometrial cancer.
“It is with profound sadness and grief that we share the passing of our beloved Gwen Ifill,” her family wrote in a statement. “We truly appreciate the public expression of sympathy from those who knew and respected her. At this time, we respectfully request the ability to grieve and remember Gwen privately. However, more information will be made available in the coming days on a public remembrance of the woman so many admired.”
A former newspaper reporter, Ifill switched to television and worked for NBC News and PBS. She moderated two vice presidential debates.
Ifill took a leave from her nightly show for health reasons earlier this year, never making public her illness. A week ago, she went out on leave again, taking her away from election night coverage.
“I am saddened to hear of Ms. Gwen Ifill’s passing. Gwen, 61, was a transformative voice among journalists,” National Association of Black Journalists President Sara Glover said in a Facebook post. “Her professionalism and poise coupled with an innate doggedness to report the story reverberated throughout the industry.”
Ifill was one of the most prominent African-American journalists in the country. The veteran commentator covered seven presidential campaigns and moderated the vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008.
Ifill was also the bestselling author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. In 2013, she was named co-host of the PBS Newshour.
Journalists and fans on Twitter took time to remember the iconic analyst.
We mourn the loss of an outstanding and beloved journalist and friend. Gwen Ifill will be deeply missed.
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) November 14, 2016
Gwen Ifill. Now one of the ancestors. A lovely lady who was always kind to me. Grateful to have known her. Rest well, Queen. And thank you. https://t.co/019WHp3aqf
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) November 14, 2016
Gwen Ifill was the best we could ever hope for and it’s heartbreaking to lose her and to lose her now. https://t.co/eKw3RzwtMG
— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) November 14, 2016
“Gwen was one of America’s leading lights in journalism and a fundamental reason public media is considered a trusted window on the world by audiences across the nation,” Paula Kerger, the PBS president and CEO, said.
Ifill’s remarkable legacy is one that will be discussed for years to come. She broke gender and racial barriers and became a role model for journalists throughout the world, and for that she will be sorely missed.