President Obama called her an “extraordinary journalist.” He said she “also inspired tomorrow’s journalists.”

He said he “admired her integrity, tenacity and intellect” and he called her a “trailblazer.’

He was 100% on target.

Gwen was all that and more.  She died today at age 61.  CANCER took her life, but not her spirit.

Gwen had a feisty spirit.  She definitely was a glass half full kind of woman.  She loved her job. She was so good at it too. But there was more to Gwen than that extraordinary journalist.

We had offices across a narrow hall at the NBC NEWS Washington Bureau so we shared a lot of talk and a lot of laughs and because my office mate was her producer, we also shared a lot of those last minute dashes to make air.  She was a trooper.  She worked so hard.  Journalism meant something to Gwen.  The word stood for something and she honored her profession.

When she was diagnosed we talked about how her new journey would change her life.  She wanted to know what to expect.  I don’t think any of us who knew what she was going through expected Gwen’s life would end in just a few months.

It’s a sad day for me.  I’ve lost a friend and in some ways I feel like maybe I let her down.  Should I have pushed her to more aggressive doctors?  Did I check in with her enough along the way?

My only consolation is knowing Gwen is no longer in pain from her cancer.

She’s at peace.  I know she’s at peace and for that I’m very grateful.

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