‘PBS Newshour’ Co-Anchor Gwen Ifill Dead at 61

‘PBS Newshour’ co-anchor Gwen Ifill has died at the age of 61, PBS confirmed.

Ifill was at the helm of “PBS Newshour” since 2013 alongside co-anchor and co-managing editor Judy Woodruff. Prior to “Newshour,” Ifill was the host of PBS’s “Washington Week.”

Among historic firsts, Ifill hosted the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates. She is also the recipient of a 2008 Peabody award. As NBC’s Pete Williams notes in an emotional television report, Ifill “had so many awards in her office you could barely see out the window.”

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During the 2016 election, Ifill co-moderated a Democratic presidential debate with Woodruff, making them the first female duo to moderate such a debate.

“Newshour” said in a statement:

“It is with extremely heavy hearts that we must share that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away this afternoon following several months of cancer treatment. She was surrounded by loving family and many friends whom we ask that you keep in your thoughts and prayers.”

According to Politico, Ifill had taken leave earlier this year to deal with ongoing illness.

Ifill was set to be honored with an award by Columbia University’s School of Journalism Wednesday, but the event was postponed. She is the first African American to receive the award.

Sara Just, the executive editor for PBS Newshour, called her a “standard bearer for courage, fairness, and integrity.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated after being published.

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