PBS confirmed Monday that Gwen Ifill, the legendary co-host of the PBS Newshour and Washington Week, has died at 61. She was one of the most prominent black journalists in all of broadcast news.
Ifill was absent from much of the public broadcasting network’s election coverage because of ongoing health issues.
After graduating from Simmons College, a women’s college in Boston, Ifill went on to reporting positions at The Washington Post, The New York Times, and NBC before joining PBS in 1999, when she became the first black woman in history to host a national news show. She moderated the vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008. With Judy Woodruff, she was part of the first all-women team of debate moderators during last year’s primary season debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
News of Ifill’s death brought an outpouring of support from members of the journalism community, where she was remembered as a trailblazer and top-notch journalist. There were also reports that broadcast journalists were fighting back tears when they learned of Ifill’s death on-air.
This is a developing story.