PBS News Anchor Gwen Ifill Dead at 61

WASHINGTON—Gwen Ifill, 61, has died from a battle with cancer, PBS announced on Monday. Ifill was a news anchor and co-host of PBS’ “NewsHour” and moderator for “Washington Week.”

Ifill began her career as a reporter for the Boston Herald-American. She would also work for The Baltimore Evening Sun, The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC. She joined PBS in 1999 as the moderator of “Washington Week in Review.”

She covered seven presidential elections and served as a moderator for the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates. She also moderated a primary debate between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in 2015.

“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,” said Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, in a statement. “Her contributions to thoughtful reporting and civic discourse simply cannot be overstated.”

Ifill was set to be honored with the 2016 John Chancellor Award for journalism from Columbia University in a ceremony this Wednesday, Nov. 16.

UPDATE Nov. 15:

Patricia Harrison, president and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, issued a statement on Ifill's death on Tuesday: 

"We join the entire public media system in expressing our sadness over the news of Gwen Ifill's passing.

Gwen was a devoted supporter of public media and an iconic and accomplished journalist. In her 17 years on 'Washington Week in Review' and the 'PBS NewsHour,' she distinguished herself as one of the country's most astute reporters and political commentators.

We extend our condolences to Gwen's family, friends and her colleagues at 'PBS NewsHour,' 'Washington Week,' and WETA."