Yesterday, trailblazing newscaster Gwen Ifill passed away at the age of 61.
An award winning journalist and PBS NewsHour anchor, Ifill paved a way for future journalists through her courage, and reminding her peers of the importance of calling out bigotry.
Plenty of people have paid their respects to the late anchor, including CNN’s very own Don Lemon.
Lemon offered a heartfelt tribute to Ifill, speaking of her accolades before getting into his own personal relationship with the journalist.
“I first met Gwen at a National Association Of Black Journalists Convention in the mid ’90s when I was trying to become an on air reporter,” Lemon began. “A woman who I had watched, admired and loved from afar, agreed to critique my first demo tape. I hung onto her every word — now I have a few words for her: Gwen you were a black woman who thrived in this brutal business dominated by mostly men. You transcended race and gender; you were simply brilliant and powerful — a quiet storm, professional, understated, humble.”
As Lemon’s eyes begin to water he concludes his tribute with the following: “I won’t say goodbye, because goodbyes are so hard. But I will say, so long and thank you.”
In 2013 was when Ifill was named co-host of PBS NewsHour. In an interview with The New York Times she had offered the following on what her new role could mean to a new generation.
“When I was a little girl watching programs like this — because that’s the kind of nerdy family we were — I would look up and not see anyone who looked like me in any way. No women. No people of color. I’m very keen about the fact that a little girl now, watching the news, when they see me and Judy [Woodruff] sitting side by side, it will occur to them that that’s perfectly normal — that it won’t seem like any big breakthrough at all.”
Check out Lemon’s tribute below.