PBS newscaster Gwen Ifill, moderator of 2 vice-presidential debates, dies at 61

LOS ANGELES  — Gwen Ifill, the veteran journalist and newscaster who co-hosted PBS NewsHour, has died, her close friend Michele Norris confirmed on Monday.

Ifill, 61, had been battling cancer.

Ifill, who worked at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC News, became moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week in Review” in 1999 and co-host of NewsHour in 2013. She and co-host Judy Woodruff were the first women to co-host a nightly news broadcast.

Ifill also moderated the 2004 vice-presidential debate and the 2008 vice-presidential debate, as well as a 2016 Democratic primary debate.

In a telephone interview, Norris remembered Ifill as a dedicated journalist, someone who stayed true to the values of her craft amid wrenching changes across the news industry.

Ifill was scheduled to receive a prestigious award, the John Chancellor Award, at a Columbia University ceremony on Wednesday.

Ifill had been facing ongoing health issues that forced her to take a leave of absence from NewsHour in May. She was also absent from the show last week.