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.
See some of the reactions below:
— Judy Woodruff (@JudyWoodruff) November 14, 2016
The extraordinarily timed and intelligent Gwen Ifill has passed away from cancer. I will so miss her impeccable character and friendship.
— Katie Couric (@katiecouric) November 14, 2016
We mourn the loss of an outstanding and beloved journalist and friend. Gwen Ifill will be deeply missed.
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) November 14, 2016
Gwen Ifill was a role model to me and to every woman, especially black women who took up the calling of journalism. Honored to have met her. pic.twitter.com/agHfA1aIQV
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) November 14, 2016
Very sad to learn we have lost Gwen Ifill. Gwen represented the best of broadcast journalism. Our hearts are broken.
— Lester Holt (@LesterHoltNBC) November 14, 2016
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) November 14, 2016
The tribute Gwen Ifill deserves. I can't even come close to summing up in 140 characters. A beautiful human. A terrible loss.
— Kate Bolduan (@KateBolduan) November 14, 2016
I am saddened to learn about the passing of Gwen Ifill—an incredibly talented and respected journalist.
— Paul Ryan (@SpeakerRyan) November 14, 2016
I'll believe that right now @gwenifill and my father are grilling James Madison on the need for the Electoral College in '16. Love ya Gwen.
— Luke Russert (@LukeRussert) November 14, 2016
"Change comes from listening, learning, caring and conversation." – Gwen Ifill. RIP to great a human being. pic.twitter.com/xpSHswagKp
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) November 14, 2016
Terribly saddened to hear that Gwen Ifill has passed away. She was an incredible journalist. We need more like her – now more than ever.
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) November 14, 2016
With deliberateness & dignity, Gwen Ifill committed to examining issues caused by lingering hatreds, frustration and isolation in US.
— NAACP (@NAACP) November 14, 2016
To the great Gwen Ifill who always cheered her fellow journos on in this forum and others – there is a hole in all of our hearts. RIP
— Dana Bash (@DanaBashCNN) November 14, 2016
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) November 14, 2016
I am mourning the passing of Gwen Ifill, whose commentary and reading of the news I looked to as fair and balanced. But really.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) November 14, 2016
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) November 14, 2016
One of the truly great journalists of our time has died. Thank you Gwen Ifill, for your integrity, fairness and humanity. With respect.
— Ann Curry (@AnnCurry) November 14, 2016
"We can talk — and we can listen — if we only give each other a chance." — Gwen Ifill, the best of us. RIP.
— Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) November 14, 2016
I was so honored to share one of the most memorable evenings of my life with Gwen Ifill at a White House State dinner. Thank you, angel pic.twitter.com/N5TWqsSokK
— Wendell Pierce (@WendellPierce) November 14, 2016
Gwen Ifill was my good friend. I will miss her. May she Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/sB7zUIj93d
— Wolf Blitzer (@wolfblitzer) November 14, 2016
NBC's Pete Williams reports on the death of friend and colleague Gwen Ifill pic.twitter.com/oMTyLiMX4w
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) November 14, 2016
Brokenhearted to learn that Gwen Ifill has passed away after a fight with cancer. A wonderful journalist and human being. What a loss. pic.twitter.com/4HXigfEWvc
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 14, 2016
I'm saddened to learn of the passing of @gwenifill. She was an amazing journalist and will be truly missed.
— Dr. Ben Carson (@RealBenCarson) November 14, 2016
.@gwenifill I'm heartbroken and not ready for the past tense with you. Sending all the love in the world to your family and loved ones.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) November 14, 2016
I am heartbroken to report that Gwen Ifill has died. Ifill had been battling cancer. She was 61.
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 14, 2016
Gwen Ifill, RIP. In a league of her own. A wonderful woman and mentor. An incisive and compelling reporter. pic.twitter.com/yZHw6cDcGr
— Robert Costa (@costareports) November 14, 2016