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Members of Congress Pay Tribute to Gwen Ifill

Lawmakers from both parties remember the late ‘PBS NewsHour’ co-anchor

Veteran journalist Gwen Ifill has died of cancer at 61. (CQ/Roll Call file photo)
Veteran journalist Gwen Ifill has died of cancer at 61. (CQ/Roll Call file photo)

Members of Congress from both parties offered their condolences after the death of “PBS NewsHour” co-anchor Gwen Ifill. She was 61. 

Ifill, who also served as host of PBS’ “Washington Week,” died in Washington on Monday from complications of uterine cancer, The New York Times reported. She covered the White House, Congress and national campaigns for various media outlets for more than three decades. 

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan called Ifill “an incredibly talented and respected journalist” while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she was “a role model for young women journalists across the nation.”

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer recalled his earliest encounters with Ifill.

“I had the honor of knowing her since her days with The Baltimore Evening Sun covering Maryland politics, and I have had great respect for her ever since,” Hoyer said in a statement. “Gwen believed deeply in the public service mission of PBS and the importance in a democracy of maintaining an informed electorate.”

Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis called Ifill “an outstanding and beloved journalist and friend.”

Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Bob Corker of Tennessee shared images of them being interviewed by Ifill.

President Barack Obama at the beginning of his news conference on Monday afternoon, paid tribute to Ifill, whom he called “a friend of ours.”

“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,” he said.

“I always appreciated Gwen’s reporting, even when I was at the receiving end of one of her tough and thorough interviews. Whether she reported from a convention floor or from the field, whether she sat at the debate moderator’s table or at the anchor desk, she not only informed today’s citizens, but she also inspired tomorrow’s journalists. She was an especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her integrity, tenacity and intellect and for whom she blazed a trail as one half of the first all-female anchor team on network news,” the president said.

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