Gwen Ifill, Peabody Award-winning journalist and host of PBS’ Washington Week, has died at the age of 61, Variety reports.
In addition to moderating the long-running public affairs TV program, Ifill was the co-anchor of PBS NewsHour alongside Judy Woodruff.
Born in New York City, Ifill got her start in journalism as a communications major at Simmons College. After graduating, she was hired at the Boston Herald-American newspaper and went on to work at several esteemed news publications, including the Baltimore Evening Sun, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
In 1999, Ifill began working for PBS as the moderator for Washington Week, a current events panel series that began in 1967. The roundtable typically features around two to four guest commentators who discuss current events in a civil and informed manner.
In addition to her PBS hosting duties, Ifill has moderated several presidential and vice-presidential debates. This past February, Ifill and her PBS Newshour co-host, Judy Woodruff, moderated a Democratic primary debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, becoming the first female team to do so.
Several journalists, colleagues, and even President Obama have spoken about Ifill’s passing:
Very sad to learn we have lost Gwen Ifill. Gwen represented the best of broadcast journalism. Our hearts are broken.
— Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) November 14, 2016
I first met Gwen Ifill when she was a reporter at @nytimes. She became a pioneering journalist at NBC + PBS. My prayers are with her family.
— Dan Rather (@DanRather) November 15, 2016
From President Obama:
I always appreciated Gwen’s reporting even when I was on the receiving end of one of her tough and thorough interviews. She not only informed today’s citizens but she also inspired tomorrow’s journalists. Michelle and I join her family and her colleagues and everybody else who loved her in remembering her fondly today.”
What do you think? Did you watch Gwen Ifill on PBS? What will you miss most about her?