Gwen Ifill: ‘Extraordinary’ PBS Journalist Remembered by Media, Politicians

“I always appreciated Gwen’s reporting, even when I was on the receiving end of one of her tough and thorough interviews,” President Barack Obama says

Last Updated: November 14, 2016 @ 3:54 PM

Journalists and politicians paid tribute to the late Gwen Ifill on social media, after news broke on Monday that the “PBS NewsHour” anchor had died at the age of 61.

Ifill’s colleagues in the media remembered the veteran journalist for her toughness and integrity during her career reporting on Washington and politics. She was also remembered as a trailblazer who hosted multiple vice presidential debates and made history as part of the first all-female nightly news anchor team on PBS’s “NewsHour” alongside Judy Woodruff.

Woodruff, Katie Couric, Wolf Blitzer, President Barack Obama, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and “Hamilton’s” Lin-Manuel Miranda were among those who shared their memories of Ifill on Monday.

“Gwen was a friend of ours. She was an extraordinary journalist. She always kept faith with the fundamental responsibilities of her profession, asking tough questions, holding people in power accountable and defending a strong and free press that makes our democracy work,” Obama said during a news conference on Monday. “I always appreciated Gwen’s reporting, even when I was on the receiving end of one of her tough and thorough interviews.”

“Gwen did her country a great service,” he said. “Michelle and I join her family and her colleagues and everybody else who loved her in remembering her fondly today.”

Ifill died at the age of 61 after a battle with cancer. The journalist was absent from PBS coverage of last week’s presidential election due to her health, and had previously taken a health-related leave of absence in May.

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