Gwen Ifill And Judy Woodruff Make History As First All-Female Duo To Moderate A Presidential Debate

A woman didn't host a presidential debate on her own until 2012.

PBS hosts Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff made history Thursday as the first pair of women to moderate a major presidential debate.

NPR's Pauline Frederick was the first woman to moderate a presidential debate in 1976, but was paired with male journalists and didn't even get to ask a question. Barbara Walters moderated a debate during the same election cycle, but her male co-moderators asked all the questions. Time reported that ABC News' Carole Simpson moderated a town hall debate during the 1992 election, but asked few questions.

That limited role for women made it so significant when CNN's Candy Crowley hosted a presidential debate on her own in 2012 and directly asked questions.

At Thursday's Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton acknowledged the historic moment.

"We've had like 200 presidential primary debates, and this is the first time there have been a majority of women on the stage. So we'll take our progress wherever we can find it," Clinton said.

Sandra Smith and Trish Reagan moderated a Fox Business Network GOP undercard debate last month.

Other women, including ABC's Martha Raddatz and Fox News' Megyn Kelly, have hosted major debates this election cycle. Kelly seems to have gotten under the skin of Donald Trump, who pulled out of a debate last month because he believed she and Fox had treated him unfairly. That didn't seem to faze Kelly, who killed it at the debate anyway.

This article has been updated to note Sandra Smith and Trish Reagan hosted a Republican undercard debate last month.

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