Women Who Inspire Us: Gwen Ifill

portrait of Gwen Ifill

In November, the world lost a true role model for hard work, tenacity and determination. At a time when the influence and efforts of political journalists are both lauded and under attack, Ifill was renowned for her fairness and toughness as a broadcast journalist. 

Along with Judy Woodruff, Ifill was part of the first all-female anchor team on network nightly news –together they anchored and managed NewsHour on PBS. The duo also moderated a Democratic Party presidential primary debate this year, and Ifill moderated the vice presidential debates in 2004 and 2008. 

We're inspired by Ifill's willingness to always ask the tough questions. At the 2004 vice presidential debate, for example, she asked each party's candidate to respond to the increasing rate of AIDS deaths among black women in the United States. 

Ifill died on November 14 at age 61, after a battle with uterine cancer. As a role model for young women, and an exemplar of journalistic excellence, she will be sorely missed.