Gwen Ifill Dies at 61: President Obama devastated at the award winning journalist’s death

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gwen ifill in PBS NewsHour
Photo Courtesy: PBS NewsHour / Wikimedia

Gwen Ifill, American Peabody Award-winning journalist, television newscaster, and author died surrounded by her family in a Washington hospice on Monday, November 14.

PBS released a report  that Gwen Ifill was still battling cancer while covering the 2016 presidential election. Her death has left her other colleagues devastated.

“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,” Paula Kerger, the PBS president and CEO, said.

“She was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change,” the NewsHour’s executive producer, Sara Just said “She was a mentor to so many across the industry — a journalist’s journalist who set an example for all around her.”

And from her co-anchor, Judy Woodruff: “She was not only my dear friend, she was the best partner one can imagine, because she was committed to fairness and to the finest in journalism. You always knew when working with Gwen that she had your back. I’m crushed that she won’t be sitting by my side on the NewsHour any more, but her mark on this program and on American journalism will endure.”

President Obama has also expressed his condolences. On a press conference on Monday, President Obama has paid tribute for Iffil, calling her an “extraordinary journalist”, who “always kept faith with the fundamental responsibility of her profession.”

The respected newscaster had moderated two vice-presidential debates, between John Edwards and Dick Cheney in 2004; and between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden in 2008.

Earlier this month PBS announced she would be taking time off for health reasons but had kept her battle with cancer private.

Gwen Ifill will always have a great infuence on journalism. In a 2015 interview with the Washingtonian, after winning an award from the magazine, Gwen summed up the importance of journalism:

“We can’t expect the world to get better by itself,” she said. “We have to create something we can leave the next generation.”

Photo Courtesy: PBS NewsHour /Wikimedia

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