Don Lemon breaks down during on-air tribute to Gwen Ifill

Don Lemon couldn’t hold back his emotions when he paid tribute to Gwen Ifill on-air.

The 61-year-old “PBS NewsHour” anchor died on Monday, and a tearful Lemon during his tribute on CNN recalled how she was kind enough to review his first demo tape, and described her as “simply brilliant and powerful, a quiet storm.”

–Gwen Ifill, veteran journalist and PBS anchor, dead at 61–

He was clearly emotional as he broke down in saying goodbye to the news icon, saying, “I won’t say goodbye, because goodbyes are so hard. But I will say, so long and thank you.”

Watch the touching tribute below.