Gwen Ifill, moderator and managing editor of Washington Week, the weekly political discussion show on PBS she co-anchored with Judy Woodruff, has died after several months of cancer treatment. She was 61.
“It is with extreme sadness that we share the news that Gwen Ifill passed away earlier today surrounded by family and friends,” according to a statement from Paula Kerger, PBS’ CEO. “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.”
A native of New York, Ifill graduated from Simmons College in 1977 and went on to hold positions at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC before joining PBS’s “Washington Week in Review” in 1999. Known nationally for her work as a debate moderator, Ifill moderated the 2004 and 2008 vice-presidential debates that pitted Dick Cheney against John Edwards and Joe Biden against Sarah Palin. Ifill also moderated a Democratic primary debate between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.
Ifill, who was absent from PBS’ election coverage last week, took a leave of absence from the public broadcaster in May to address her health issues.