Media giants, politicians mourn passing of Gwen Ifill

Vice presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill of PBS listens during the vice presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008 in St. Louis, Mo.  (AP Photo/Don Emmert, Pool)
Vice presidential debate moderator Gwen Ifill of PBS listens during the vice presidential debate Thursday, Oct. 2, 2008 in St. Louis, Mo. (AP Photo/Don Emmert, Pool)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) — The death of legendary journalist Gwen Ifill drew heartfelt condolences and fond memories from fellow giants in the field of journalism shortly after her passing on Monday.

The “PBS NewsHour” host, 61, was in hospice care before reportedly succumbing to endometrial cancer.

Ifill served as moderator for multiple national political debates, making her an instantly recognizable face, and was renowned for her unique, hard-nosed-yet-soft-hearted brand of reporting from the rough and tumble world of Washington.

Her career spanned four decades, taking her through local news outlets, NBC News and The New York Times before landing at PBS.

Word of Ifill’s death broke at approximately 2 p.m. ET on Monday, instantly unleashing a flood of emotional messages from viewers, politicians and colleagues from around the world.

John Dickerson
Moderator, Face the Nation (CBS)

Chuck Todd
Moderator, Meet The Press (NBC)

Cathleen Decker
Columnist, LA Times

Jeff Zeleny
CNN, New York Times (fmr.)

Jeffrey Goldberg
Editor-in-Chief, The Atlantic

Gov. Sarah Palin
Fmr. Alaska Governor, 2008 Republican V.P. Nominee

Sen. Sherrod Brown
D-Ohio

Sen. Tammy Baldwin
D-Wisconsin

President Barack Obama also offered condolences on behalf of himself and first lady Michelle Obama, calling Ifill “a friend” who “did her country a great service.”

“I always appreciated Gwen’s reporting, even when I was on the receiving end of one of her tough and thorough interviews,” said Mr. Obama, calling Ifill an “especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her  integrity her tenacity and her intellect.”

Follow Chance Seales on Twitter: @ChanceSeales

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