Journalist Gwen Ifill to be honored with USPS Forever stamp

PHOTO: Gwen Ifill during the 25th Annual NATAS News and Documentary Emmys
Sept. 13, 2004, in New York. PlayMarc Bryan-brown/WireImage/Getty Images
WATCH News headlines today: Nov. 13, 2019

Trailblazing journalist Gwen Ifill will be memorialized on a new U.S. Postal Service Forever stamp.

She will be the face of the 43rd stamp in the Black Heritage series, according to a press release from USPS on Tuesday. The stamp features a photo of her taken in 2008 by photographer Robert Severi.

PHOTO: The 43rd stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Gwen Ifill (1955–2016), one of America’s most esteemed journalists. USPS
The 43rd stamp in the Black Heritage series honors Gwen Ifill (1955–2016), one of America’s most esteemed journalists.

Ifill, who died in November 2016 after battling cancer, became the first African American woman to host a national political TV talk show with her 1999 host-debut on PBS' Washington Week.

She later became a member of the first female co-anchor team on PBS NewsHour, where she worked for 17 years and covered eight presidential campaigns and moderated two vice-presidential debates.

Sherrilyn Ifill, Gwen Ifill's cousin who serves as the president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education fund, said on Twitter she "literally cannot catch [her] breath!"

"Gwen is deserving of every honor for her contributions to this country. But this one is special," she wrote.

PHOTO: Gwen Ifill during the 25th Annual NATAS News and Documentary Emmys
Sept. 13, 2004, in New York. Marc Bryan-brown/WireImage/Getty Images
Gwen Ifill during the 25th Annual NATAS News and Documentary Emmys Sept. 13, 2004, in New York.

At the time of her death, condolences from fellow journalists, politicians and celebrities poured in. Former President Barack Obama called Ifill "an especially powerful role model for young women and girls who admired her integrity, her tenacity and her intellect and for whom she blazed a trail."

The stamps will be issued in 2020.

William Gicker, the postal service's acting executive director, called the stamps "miniature works of art" that honor American history and culture.

“From notable figures such as golf legend Arnold Palmer to esteemed journalist Gwen Ifill to the cultural phenomenon of hip hop and a celebration of the great outdoors, this program is wide-ranging and adds to the history of our great nation as recorded through the U.S. stamp program," Gicker said in a statement.