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Gwen Ifill (1955 - 2016)

Getty / Frederick M. Brown

Gwen Ifill (1955 - 2016)

Gwen Ifill, a veteran television journalist who served as moderator and managing editor of the Public Broadcasting Service’s talk show “Washington Week,” died Monday, Nov. 14, 2016, of cancer, according to the network. She was 61.

Ifill also co-anchored the “PBS NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff.

“It is with extreme sadness that we share the news that Gwen Ifill passed away earlier today surrounded by family and friends,” said PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger in a news statement. “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. Her contributions to thoughtful reporting and civic discourse simply cannot be overstated. She often said that her job was to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society.”

Television viewers may also remember Ifill’s role in moderating two debates of candidates for vice president: between John Edwards and Richard Cheney in 2004, and between Sarah Palin and Joseph Biden in 2008.


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She was born Sept. 29, 1955, in New York, New York. In 1977, she graduated from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She worked for several newspapers, including The Washington Post and The New York Times.

In October 1999, she became a moderator of PBS’ “Washington Week in Review.”

Ifill also was the author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” in 2009.

Fellow journalists paid tribute to Ifill on social media:

Dana Bash: "To the great Gwen Ifill who always cheered her fellow journos on in this forum and others - there is a hole in all of our hearts. RIP"

Ann Curry: "One of the truly great journalists of our time has died. Thank you Gwen Ifill, for your integrity, fairness and humanity. With respect."

Britt Hume: "Sad to hear of death of Gwen Ifill. Got to know her when we both covered 1988 presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson. A fine woman. RIP"

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