Gwen Ifill. Photo by Robert Severi
Those who appreciate high-quality broadcast news were saddened today to learn of the passing of longtime PBS NewsHour co-host and Washington Week moderator Gwen Ifill.
The former New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News political, congressional and White House reporter, 61, had been under treatment for cancer. She and her NewsHour co-host Judy Woodruff were the first women to co-anchor a U.S. nightly newscast. She also wrote for the Baltimore Sun and the Boston Herald-American. In the course of her career she won a George Foster Peabody Award (honoring distinguished and meritorious work in radio and television), the Leonard Zeidenberg First Amendment Award of the Radio/Television Digital News Association and the National Press Club’s highest honor, the Fourth Estate Award, among many other honors. Ebony Magazine listed her among the nation’s 150 most influential African Americans. She also served on the board of directors of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, a joint project of the Library and WGBH to preserve and provide access to the nation’s public broadcasting heritage. She also served on the board of the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Ifill wrote “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama” (2009), which she spoke about at the Library of Congress National Book Festival that year. She was also a moderator of televised political debates, including the 2004 and 2008 vice-presidential debates and a 2016 Democratic primary debate.
She interviewed former U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens when he came to the Law Library of Congress to receive the Wickersham Award for exceptional public service from the Friends of the Law Library of Congress.
Gwen Ifill is among the media figures represented in the video history collection known as “The HistoryMakers,” a collection of videos of African American public figures interviewed for the public record. This documentary record was added to the collections of the Library of Congress in 2014. She was interviewed for the collection in 2012.
Ifill was known not only for her consummate professionalism but also as a thoughtful and generous person. In an address delivered at the Library in 2013, she said: “Whose stories can you tell? Whose voices are not being heard? Which stories and voices go unheard, and–most of all–what are you willing to do about it?”
The Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress and the Galileo Museum in Florence, Italy, today unveiled a multi-media interactive website that celebrates the life and times of 16th-century cartographer Martin Waldseemüller, who created the 1507 World Map, which is the first document to use the name “America,” represent the Pacific Ocean and […]
(The following is an article written by Hannah Stahl and featured in the September/October 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. Stahl is a library technician in the Library’s Geography and Map Division. This article is adapted from a series of posts by the author on the Geography and Map Division’s blog.) Maps of […]
In case you missed it, the Library of Congress has a new Librarian of Congress, who made headlines throughout the month of September. In addition to being named Fox News Sunday Power Play of the Week, Carla Hayden spoke with several outlets, including USA Today, The Washington Post, The Guardian, NBC, NPR, CBS, The New […]
Want to read how an 18th-century newspaper covered the inauguration of George Washington? How about learning what issues divided Congress in the early 1800s? Going back into early American history is now possible due to new digital content that has been added to Chronicling America, the open access database of historic U.S. newspapers that is […]
We’re winding down our blog feature highlighting the 2016 Letters About Literature contest with winners from Level 3 (grades 9-12). The contest asks young people in grades 4 through 12 to write to an author (living or deceased) about how his or her book affected their lives. Today we feature National Prize-winner Sara Lurie of Colorado, who wrote […]
On Wednesday, the Library of Congress Junior Fellows Summer Interns presented more than 100 rare and unique items from 17 Library divisions. The display provided the opportunity for fellows to discuss the historic significance of the collection items they have researched and processed during their 10-week internships. Some highlights included: an Olmec ceramic figurine (900-1200 […]
(The following is a post by Gayle Osterberg, director of communications for the Library of Congress.) Next April begins the centennial of America’s involvement in World War I, from April 6, 1917, when the U.S. Congress formally declared war on the German Empire. It concluded November 11, 1918, with the armistice agreement. I am going […]
Last month, the Library announced the 2016 winners of the Letters About Literature contest, a national reading and writing program that asks young people in grades 4 through 12 to write to an author (living or deceased) about how his or her book affected their lives. Research shows that students benefit most from literacy instruction when […]
(The following story was written by Mark Hartsell, editor of the Library of Congress staff newsletter, The Gazette.) Before he boarded the ship carrying prisoners of war across the ocean to a forced-labor camp, George Washington Pearcy divided his diary and gave the pieces to two comrades staying behind. If he didn’t survive the journey, […]