PBS just confirmed News anchor Gwen Ifill has died at 61.
Top anchor, Ifill died on Monday after several months of cancer treatment and decades of covering Washington politics.
It is notable that Ifill who is usually a fixture of the presidential elections landscape was not part of election night coverage, with PBS saying she was “off the air this week while she addresses health issues. We look forward to her return as soon as possible.”
“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,” PBS NewsHour executive producer Sara Just said in a statement.
PBS said that the broadcaster was surrounded by family members and friends when she died.
Ifill famously authored the landmark essay on African-American politicians ‘The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama’ that published in 2009. The book became controversial in the run in for the 2008 presidential debate because this book was part bibliography part story of Obama and other African-American politicians.
She also had multiple responsibilities in PBS. She wasn’t just a moderator but an anchor, she also was a newscaster and editor, as well.
Host of NPR’s Washington Week Gwen Ifill, dead at 61.
Born in Queens, New York, the veteran journalist began her career in the late 1970s. Her career took her through print and electronic media as she reported at various times for spent time reporting for outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NBC and the Baltimore Sun before becoming the host of “Washington Week” and “PBS NewsHour.”
Ifill moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates as well as a Democratic primary debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders earlier this year’s democratic primaries.
Colleagues took to social media mourning her death, Monday.
“With deep and profound sadness. My friend, — the @NewsHour anchor @gwenifill has gone on to glory. We will miss her voice, her works & more,” DNC chair Donna Brazile posted on Twitter.
Gwen Ifill, interviewing president Obama . The veteran journalist wrote the essential bibliography on African-American politicians
Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway offered condolences to Ifill’s family and said the news was “shocking and incredibly sad.”
She was set to receive a lifetime achievements awardfrom Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in a ceremony on Wednesday.
Dean Steve Coll, on the board that awarded her the honor for her lifetime achievements, said that it came as recognition of “her unflinching pursuit of the truth, healthy skepticism of those in power and her commitment to fairness.”