American role model journalist, Gwen Ifill, 61, who broke gender and racial barriers had been battling endometrial cancer during this year’s presidential election, has died.
PBS said in a statement that she died Monday “surrounded by family and friends.”
“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,” Paula Kerger, the PBS president, and CEO said.
“She often said that her job was to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society,” Kerger said.
Gwen Ifill, who worked at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC News, became a moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week in Review” in 1999 and co-host of NewsHour in 2013. She and co-host Judy Woodruff were the first women to co-host a nightly news broadcast.
Gwen Ifill was born in the year 1955 September 29 at New York City, New York as the fifth child of the African Methodist Episcopal minister Oliver Urcille Ifill Sr. and Eleanor Ifill, Gwen’s family, had emigrated from Panama to States. She had an American nationality belonging to the black ancestry. Her father’s ministry made her family live in several cities throughout her youth. She has lived in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts church parsonages and subsidized housing in Buffalo and New York City. Gwen graduated in Bachelors in Arts in Communications from Simmons College located in Boston. As she always wanted to express her feelings in public, she wanted to have her career in journalism. Following her target and dream, she continued on her journey to find the career in this field.
While at the college, Gwen had interned for the Boston Herald-American. After her graduation, she was hired there, but she had to be embarrassed as one of her co-workers had handed her a note writing words of humiliation as she is a Black America “Nigger go home.” Following the incident, she left the job and began to work for Baltimore Evening Sun from the year 1981-1984, then at The Washington Post from 1984-1991, The New York Times from 1991-1994 and later joining at the NBC Network. In October 1999, she served the PBS program Washington Week in Review as its moderator and also been the senior correspondent for PBS Newshour. She has also appeared in several of the shows like Meet the Press.
She also served as the board of the Museum of Television and Radio, Harvard Institute of Politics, the Committee to Protect Journalists and University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Since 2013, she had been the co-anchor and co-managing editor for the NewsHour. She had been one of the legends in the journalism with her background and struggled to keep in this stage. She has spent more than 2 decades in this field experiencing and learning things and alongside being the inspiration to the new comers.