Shocking News: PBS Journalist Gwen Ifill Dies at 61, But What Caused Her Demise?

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Shocking News: PBS Journalist Gwen Ifill Dies at 61, But What Caused Her Demise?

Another groundbreaking journalist of the media, Gwen Ifill has passed away on Monday giving in to her battle with cancer. The shocking news of her death has affected a lot of people.

Gwen Ifill, well known as the Moderator of ‘Washington Week’ and co-host of ‘PBS NewsHour’ died at the age of 61 after suffering from uterine cancer as confirmed by PBS. Friends, family, and fans are devastated and have expressed their grievances and requested others to keep her and her family in their prayers.


Caption: Gwen Ifill, co-host of 'PBS NewsHour,' passed away on November 14, 2016.

Gwen Ifill was always reputed for her good and just nature in journalism and hardly brought her personal life into the limelight. Very few even knew about her struggle against the disease. Gwen had been absent from a public broadcaster’s election coverage since last week to deal with this very health problem in private.

We had previously informed about Ifill taking a leave of absence from her work due to medical reasons. The news had broken out about her two weeks hiatus in May 2016, but then she had returned healthy as ever back then and tweeted about it on Twitter.

Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President, and CEO of WETA who had just visited her in the morning wrote, “I am very sad to tell you that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away today in hospice care in Washington,” in a staff-wide e-mail.  “I spent an hour with her this morning, and she was resting comfortably, surrounded by loving family and friends... Earlier today, I conveyed to Gwen the devoted love and affection of all of us at WETA/NewsHour. Let us hold Gwen and her family even closer now in our hearts and prayers.”

Ifill was also well known for being one of the first African-American women building her career in an industry dominated by white male journalists. In this context, WETA’s executive producer and VP shared, “Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness, and integrity in an industry going through seismic change.” She added, “She was a mentor to so many across the industry, and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum. She was a  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.”

Many of her colleagues and fellow journalists also showed their tribute to her by tweeting about her on Twitter.

Before her time in PBS, she has undertaken the role of a political correspondent for NBC News, White House Correspondent for New York Times and a political reporter for Washington Post. She also established herself as one of the first African-American women to serve as a moderator in a Presidential debate which was in 2004 between Dick Cheney and John Edwards.

Gwen had also moderated the 2008 debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden and the Democratic debate between Bernie Sander and Hillary Clinton just last year. Apart from being a journalist and moderator, she is also an author having published the book The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, in 2009 following Barrack Obama’s inauguration as the president.


Caption: PBS Democratic Debate Milwaukee, Wisconsin, HIGHLIGHTS, Sanders vs. Clinton on February 2016.

President Barrack Obama also got the news of her death and conveyed his condolence to her, 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.”

Lastly, ‘nytimes’ managed to get a phone interview with Judy Woodruff Gwen’s co-host who also spoke of her as a person who “loved storytelling and loved helping people understand what was going on in the world around them.”She added, “For young women of color looking for a role model, she was it.”


Caption: President Obama offers condolences on the loss of Gwen Ifill on November 14, 2016.

As of now, the nation has lost a very influential journalist of its time who has been a source of motivation for the younger generation. Gwen Ifill has defied expectations all her life but now has fallen after the defeat from a long battle with cancer. We pray for Gwen Ifill and her family through these tough times.