×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gwen Ifill, Longtime PBS Journalist, Dies at 61

Veteran television journalist Gwen Ifill, the longtime host of PBS’ “Washington Week” and co-anchor of “PBS NewsHour,” has died. She was 61.

A PBS spokesperson confirmed that Ifill passed away Monday after a months-long battle with cancer.

“Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change,” Sara Just, “PBS NewsHour” executive producer and senior VP of public television station WETA, said in a statement. “She was a mentor to so many across the industry and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum. She was a journalist’s journalist and set an example for all around her. So many people in the audience felt that they knew and adored her. 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.  We will forever miss her terribly.”

Ifill joined PBS as the moderator of “Washington Week,” the public broadcaster’s weekly public-affairs program, in 1999 and served as the show’s managing editor. In 2013 she was named co-anchor and co-managing editor with Judy Woodruff of week-night evening-news broadcast “PBS NewsHour.”

Prior to joining PBS, Ifill served as NBC News’ chief congressional and political correspondent. Previous stops included the New York Times, where she was a White House correspondent, and the Washington Post, where she was a local and national political reporter. She moderated the 2004 vice-presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards and the 2008 vice-presidential debate between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin.

President Obama paid tribute to Ifill during his press conference on Monday, calling her a “friend and extraordinary journalist who defended a strong and free press. I always appreciated Gwen’s reporting even when I was on the receiving end of one of her tough and thorough interviews.”

“She was an especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her integrity, her tenacity and her intellect,” he continued. “Gwen did her country a great service. Michelle and I join her family and her colleagues in remembering her fondly today.”

Ifill’s book “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama,” was published by Doubleday in 2009.

Hollywood Stars and Icons Lost in 2016

More TV

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Showrunners, Screenwriters Back WGA in Agency Battle, Sides to Meet Again Tuesday

    More than 750 showrunners and screenwriters have backed the WGA’s battle against talent agencies taking packaging fees and other changes to the rules governing the business relationship between agents and writers. The letter of support issued Saturday is significant because of the immense clout showrunners and prominent screenwriters possess in Hollywood. Several showrunners had recently [...]

  • Norman Reedus and Ryan Hurst'The Walking

    Norman Reedus on 'The Walking Dead' Without Andrew Lincoln: 'He's With Me Every Day'

    After saying goodbye to most of the original cast on “The Walking Dead,” Norman Reedus still feels his former co-stars with him during each episode. “I’ve seen so many people come and go,” he said during a “Walking Dead” panel on Friday at PaleyFest. “Right now on the show, the ghosts of all those guys [...]

  • Series Mania: De Mensen, Reel One

    Series Mania: First Details on Co-Pro Pitching Project 'Capturing Big Mouth' (EXCLUSIVE)

    LILLE, France — Belgian production company De Mensen, which has just been acquired by France’s Newen, has teamed with Reel One Entertainment on a new cross-continental thriller series, “Capturing Big Mouth. The series will be pitched Monday at this year’s Series Mania Forum Co-pro Pitching section. It chronicles the unlikely rise and eventual fall of [...]

  • Daily Show Viacom

    Viacom, DirecTV Make Progress in Contract Talks, No Blackout After Deadline Passes

    UPDATED: Viacom and DirecTV executives went down to the wire Friday on a combative contract renewal negotiation with high stakes for both sides. The companies stayed in talks past the midnight Eastern contract expiration and the channels stayed up on AT&T’s platforms. Sources indicated early Saturday that the threat of a blackout had been averted. [...]

  • ABBY'S -- "Pilot" Episode 101 --

    TV Review: 'Abby's' Starring Natalie Morales

    “Abby’s,” NBC’s new comedy about a cranky bartender (Natalie Morales) and her inner circle of regulars, is aware of the inevitable “Cheers” comparisons. Created by “New Girl” writer Josh Malmuth and executive produced by uber-producer (and unabashed “Cheers” superfan) Mike Schur, “Abby’s” therefore makes a few key choices in order to differentiate itself as its [...]

  • Ryan Murphy Walk of Fame

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Sets Premiere Date for Ryan Murphy's 'The Politician'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for Ryan Murphy’s “The Politician” series, and Kristin Cavallari will host “Paradise Hotel” on Fox.  DATES Reality star Kristin Cavallari will host Fox’s reboot of “Paradise Hotel,” an unscripted dating show in which a group of singles will check into a tropical resort and compete to check [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content