Gwen Ifill, PBS news anchor, dead at 61

Gwen Ifill, PBS news anchor, dead at 61
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PBS anchor Gwen Ifill has died at the age of 61, the network announced.

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“It is with extreme sadness that we share the news that Gwen Ifill passed away earlier today surrounded by family and friends,” Paula Kerger, the president and CEO of PBS, said in a statement.

“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,” Kerger added. “Her contributions to thoughtful reporting and civic discourse simply cannot be overstated.”

Ifill, who served as the anchor of "PBS Newshour" and the moderator for "Washington Week," did not take part in its Election Day coverage last week due to health issues.

She moderated a Democratic primary debate between Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to attend World Series Game 4 in Atlanta Pavlich: Democrats' weaponization of the DOJ is back Mellman: The trout in the milk MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocrats hope to hold Big Oil 'accountable' On The Money — Will the billionaire tax survive Joe Manchin? Democrats cutting paid leave from spending deal amid Manchin opposition MORE (I-Vt.) before going on leave in May.

Kerger said Ifill “often said that her job was to bring light rather than heat to issues of importance to our society.”

“Gwen did this with grace and a steadfast commitment to excellence. Our sorrow at her passing is a part of our profound gratitude for all that she did for our system and our nation,” Kerger added.

“It was an honor to know Gwen and to work with her. All of us at PBS express our sincere condolences to Gwen’s friends and family.”

President Obama expressed sadness over her death at a Monday press conference and many journalists took to social media to share their thoughts about her and her work.