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Thu, 09.29.1955

Gwen Ifill, Journalist and Moderator

Gwen Ifill

Gwen Ifill was born on this date in 1955. She was a Black journalist.

She was born in Queens, New York City, the daughter of O. Urcille Ifill, Sr., a Methodist preacher, and Eleanor IFill. She has a sister and brother, Maria Ifill Philip and Roberto. Her cousin is Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund.  In 1977, she graduated from Simmons College in Boston, where she majored in communications. Through an internship, she got her first hands-on experience as a journalist.

She worked for the Boston Herald, the Baltimore Sun, The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC, and PBS. Ifill became a moderator of the PBS program, Washington Week in Review, in October 1999, and is also senior correspondent for the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.  On October 5, 2004, she moderated the vice presidential debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards.  In 2008, she moderated the vice presidential debate between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Sarah Palin.

Ifill served on the board of the Harvard Institute of Politics, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Museum of Television and Radio, and the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Ifill also received 15 honorary degrees.

In 2016, she moderated a presidential primary debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Ifill was also the best-selling author of The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Gwen Ifill, one of the most prominent political journalists in the country died on November 14, 2016 according to PBS. She was 61.

U.S. mail may be sent to:
MacNeil/Lehrer Productions
2700 South Quincy Street
Arlington, VA 22206

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