Gwen Ifill dies at 61; Remembering her most powerful quotes

Photo credit: Albert H. Teich /

Gwen Ifill, who stood as one of the most respected journalists in America, has died at age 61. Ifill started her career at papers such as the Boston Herald-American, Baltimore Evening Sun, New York Times, Washington Post, and NBC.

Ifill began to reach national prominence in the late-90s when she served as moderator for PBS’ “Washington Week in Review” and “PBS NewsHour.” She also served as moderator of the 2004 and 2008 vice presidential debates.

Ifill died on Nov. 14 after her fight with cancer.

In honor of her legacy, we have compiled a list of her most powerful quotes.

  1. “History shows that people often do cast their votes for amorphous reasons-the most powerful among them being the need for change.”
  2. “There have been periodic explosions of discontent in American communities — from Los Angeles to Albuquerque to New York — for decades. In almost every case, a person of color — Rodney King, Eric Garner, John Crawford — has come into conflict with law enforcement. Sometimes they died.”
  3. “I found that nearly everyone feels they are ‘the rest of America,’ the ones who get blamed when things go wrong. But there is no hope of bridging that divide unless we come out of our corners without insisting on guilt and blame.”
  4. “We can talk — and we can listen — if we only give each other a chance.”
  5. “One of the things that Africa needs, everybody seems to agree, is some measure of debt relief.”
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