Don Lemon’s tearful tribute to Gwen Ifill: ‘Sadly we have lost her voice’

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(CNN) – Don Lemon delivered a tearful tribute on the passing of veteran journalist and PBS newscaster Gwen Ifill.

“Sadly we have lost her voice,” Lemon said. “Gwen was one the most talented journalists of our time. Period. Her accomplishments are literally too many to mention.”

Lemon highlighted Ifill’s achievements from moderating presidential debates to being a part of the first all-female anchor team on nightly network news.

He shared meeting Ifill in the mid-90s, when he was trying to become an on-air reporter.

“The woman who I had watched, admired and loved from a far agreed to critique my first demo tape. I hung onto every word,” Lemon said.

Lemon was brought to tears in his closing message:

“Gwen, you were a black woman who thrived in this brutal business, you transcended race and gender,” Lemon said. “You were simply brilliant and powerful. A quiet storm, professional, understated, humble. I won’t give your age, because I was taught to never tell or ask a lady’s age, I won’t say good-bye. Good-byes are so hard, but I will say so long — and thank you.”

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