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News Legend Gwen Ifill Dead At 61 After Cancer Battle — Journalists & Celebs Mourn The Devastating Loss

| Filed under: R.I.P.Media MinuteBarack ObamaKatie CouricSad SadBette MidlerJohn LegendHealthMaria ShriverCancerSickNewsLin-Manuel Miranda

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We just lost a journalism great.

On Monday, Gwen Ifill tragically lost her battle with cancer, and passed away at the age of 61. The iconic anchor died at a hospice in Washington, surrounded by loved ones.

Gwen took over Washington Week in Review in 1999, and officially became the first African-American woman to host a major political talk show on television.

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Over the course of her career, Ifill covered seven presidential campaigns. In 2013, she became the cohost for PBS' NewsHour. In addition to her television career, she also served as a national political reporter for The Washington Post and the White House correspondent for The New York Times.

NewsHour heartbreakingly announced their co-anchor's death. The show's executive producer, Sara Just, remembered her colleague, saying:

"Gwen was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change. She was a mentor to so many across the industry and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum. She was a journalist's journalist and set an example for all around her…

So many people in the audience felt that they knew and adored her. She had a tremendous combination of warmth and authority. She was stopped on the street routinely by people who just wanted to give her a hug and considered her a friend after years of seeing her on tv. We will forever miss her terribly."

PBS CEO Paula Kerger also mourned the loss of the late legend, expressing in a statement:

"Her contributions to thoughtful reporting and civic discourse simply cannot be overstated. She 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 steadfast commitment to excellence."

From President Barack Obama, to journalists like Katie Couric and Wolf Blitzer, to A-listers like Bette Midler and John Legend, notable names are flocking to Twitter to share their sadness.

You can see their posts (below):

Rest in peace, Gwen.

[Image via Ivan Nikolov/WENN.]

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