PBS newscaster Gwen Ifill has died

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23:  Journalist Gwen Ifill (L) and Managing Editor at PBS NewsHour Judy Woodruff speak onstage at the International Women's Media Foundation's 2013 Courage In Journalism And Lifetime Achievement Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 23, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for International Women's Media Foundation)

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Journalist Gwen Ifill (L) and Managing Editor at PBS NewsHour Judy Woodruff speak onstage at the International Women's Media Foundation's 2013 Courage In Journalism And Lifetime Achievement Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street on October 23, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for International Women's Media Foundation)

LOS ANGELES — Gwen Ifill, the veteran journalist and newscaster who co-hosted PBS NewsHour, has died at the age of 61, her close friend Michele Norris confirmed on Monday.

Ifill, who worked at The Washington Post, The New York Times and NBC News, became moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week in Review” in 1999 and co-host of NewsHour in 2013. She and co-host Judy Woodruff were the first women to co-host a nightly news broadcast.

Ifill also moderated the 2004 vice-presidential debate and the 2008 vice-presidential debate, as well as a 2016 Democratic primary debate.

Ifill had been facing ongoing health issues that forced her to take a leave of absence from NewsHour in May. She was also absent from the show last week.