Longtime PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill dies at age 61

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LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 22: Gwen Ifill, Washington Week, PBS NewsHour speaks onstage at the 'PBS Election Coverage' panel during day 2 of the PBS portion of the 2012 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 22: Gwen Ifill, Washington Week, PBS NewsHour speaks onstage at the ‘PBS Election Coverage’ panel during day 2 of the PBS portion of the 2012 Summer TCA Tour held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 22, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Longtime PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill has died at age 61, PBS confirmed on Monday.

According to Politico, WETA president and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller wrote in an email to staff at the public TV station Monday, “I am very sad to tell you that our dear friend and beloved colleague Gwen Ifill passed away today in hospice care in Washington.”

Ifill had been noticeably absent from this year’s election coverage after taking a leave of absence in May to deal with health issues.

She was set to receive the 2016 John Chancellor Award from Columbia University this Wednesday.