PBS journalist Gwen Ifill dies of cancer

Gwen Ifill of PBS watches a clip of "Saturday Night Live" during a live taping of "Meet the Press" from NBC October 5, 2008 in Washington, DC. Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Republican strategist Mike Murphy spoke about the upcoming US presidential elections while David Gregory of NBC News, Gwen Ifill of PBS, Peggy Noonan of Wall Street Journal, Chuck Todd of NBC News, and David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register participated in a roundtable to also speak about the election. Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images
Gwen Ifill of PBS watches a clip of "Saturday Night Live" during a live taping of "Meet the Press" from NBC October 5, 2008 in Washington, DC. Democratic strategist Paul Begala and Republican strategist Mike Murphy spoke about the upcoming US presidential elections while David Gregory of NBC News, Gwen Ifill of PBS, Peggy Noonan of Wall Street Journal, Chuck Todd of NBC News, and David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register participated in a roundtable to also speak about the election. Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images

NEW YORK (AP) – PBS says Gwen Ifill, the veteran journalist and co-anchor of the network’s “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff, died today of cancer. She was 61.

A former newspaper reporter, Ifill switched to television and worked for NBC News and PBS. She moderated two vice presidential debates.

She took a leave from her nightly show for health reasons earlier this year, never making public her illness. A week ago, she went out on leave again, taking her away from election night coverage.

Sara Just, PBS “NewsHour” executive producer, called Ifill “a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity in an industry going through seismic change.”

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