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Gwen Ifill, the award-winning journalist best known for hosting the PBS news programs “Washington Week” and “PBS NewsHour,” died today after a months-long battle with cancer. She was 61.

The network said Ifill was not part of election night coverage saying she was “off the air this week” while she addresses health issues. WETA President Sharon Rockefeller emailed her staff on Monday informing them that their colleague had died while in hospice care in Washington, D.C. She noted that she had spent an hour that morning with Ifill who was reportedly “resting comfortably, surrounded by loving family and friends.”

Sara Just, executive producer of “PBS NewsHour,” said this week that Ifill was a standard bearer for courage, fairness and integrity.

“She was a mentor to so many across the industry and her professionalism was respected across the political spectrum,” Just said. “She was a journalist’s journalist and sent an example for all around her.”