Gwen Ifill of ‘NewsHour,’ ‘Washington Week’ dies at 61

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Gwen Ifill of the NewsHour and Washington Week moderated America After Charleston. (Photo: Nine Network/Jason Winkeler Photography)

Gwen Ifill of PBS NewsHour and Washington Week moderated the PBS town-hall special America After Charleston. (Photo: Nine Network/Jason Winkeler Photography)

Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of Washington Week in Review and co-anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, died Monday, according to producing station WETA. She was 61.

Ifill didn’t participate in any election coverage last week due to health issues. Her death came after several weeks of cancer treatment, according to NewsHour.

Sharon Rockefeller, president of the Washington, D.C., station, issued the following statement to public TV colleagues:

Dear Friends,

I am very sad to tell you that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away today in hospice care in Washington. I spent an hour with her this morning and she was resting comfortably, surrounded by loving family and friends.

Gwen was an extraordinary and special person — one of the nation’s leading lights in journalism, a gracious and inspiring colleague, and a warm and steadfast friend. As she bravely battled cancer, Gwen was lifted by the well wishes, flowers and emails from so many who love and respect her.

My heart truly goes out to her and her wonderful family. Earlier today, I conveyed to Gwen the devoted love and affection of all of us at WETA/NewsHour. Let us hold Gwen and her family even closer now in our hearts and prayers.

I have loved knowing and working with Gwen and will always cherish her memory.

Fondly,

Sharon

Ifill moderated several vice presidential candidate debates, including between Republican Vice President Dick Cheney and Democratic candidate John Edwards in 2004, and Democratic Senator Joe Biden and Republican Governor Sarah Palin in 2008.

Ifill joined public TV in 1999 as host and managing editor of Washington Week. She also worked at the NewsHour as a senior correspondent. In 2013, she was promoted to co-host and co-managing editor of the Newshour.

  • At the end of the Monday’s NewsHour, I’ve seen Judy so sad, almost to cry, but many should know that @hari will comfort her, she started to cry after the programme. Even I was in shock when I’ve received a sad breaking news report from NPR. So sad news for public media. I want to know which song was used at the end of this Monday’s programme. I will know if PBS will air live a mess in memory of Gwen. So many people will support to their family and closer friends like Judy. Also Lisa Desjardins was deeply shocked and seemed in a total sadness, but she will keep on with the political report on the NewsHour. #RIPGwen #WashWeek #PBSNEWS :'(:'(:'(:'(