Sharon Percy Rockefeller, WETA president and CEO, broke the news on Monday in an email to staff on Monday, the outlet writes.
“I am very sad to tell you that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away today in hospice care in Washington. I spent an hour with her this morning and she was resting comfortably, surrounded by loving family and friends… Earlier today, I conveyed to Gwen the devoted love and affection of all of us at WETA/NewsHour. Let us hold Gwen and her family even closer now in our hearts and prayers.”
Ifill died in hospice care, where she was surrounded by friends and family. She took a medical leave of absence from PBS in May and did not disclose her illness outside her inner-circle of friends, the outlet writes.
She was set to receive Columbia University’s 2016 John Chancellor Award, POLITICO writes.
Ifill was born in Queens, New York in 1955 and graduated from Simmons College in Boston. She began her storied career with the Boston Herald-American, and followed with reporting positions at The Baltimore Sun (formerly The Evening Sun), The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC before becoming moderator of PBS’s Washington Week in Review in 1999, POLITICO reports.
She also moderated two vice presidential political debates in 2004 and 2008.
Social media erupted in condolences for the celebrated journalist:
We mourn the loss of an outstanding and beloved journalist and friend. Gwen Ifill will be deeply missed.