Veteran CNN investigative journalist Drew Griffin useless at 60 | CNN

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Drew Griffin, CNN’s award-winning Senior Investigative Correspondent, identified for getting even the cagiest of interview topics to interact in a narrative, died Saturday after an extended battle with most cancers, his household mentioned. He was 60.

A gifted storyteller, Griffin had a well-earned fame for holding highly effective individuals and establishments accountable.

“Drew’s demise is a devastating loss to CNN and our total occupation,” CNN CEO Chris Licht mentioned in a be aware to employees. “A extremely acclaimed investigative journalist, Drew’s work had unbelievable influence and embodied the mission of this group in each manner.”

Griffin labored on a whole lot of tales and a number of documentaries over the course of practically twenty years on CNN’s investigative crew. His reporting had been honored with a few of journalism’s most prestigious awards – Emmys, Peabodys, and Murrows amongst them.

“However individuals mattered extra to Drew than prizes,” Licht mentioned.

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Griffin had an extremely sturdy work ethic, colleagues mentioned. He stored his sickness non-public from most of his co-workers and had been reporting up till the day he handed.

Michael Bass, CNN’s Government Vice President of Programming, additionally shared his admiration for Griffin in a be aware to the investigative crew Sunday.

“Fearless and clever on the similar time, he knew find out how to push a narrative ahead to its limits, but additionally inform it in a manner that will make everybody perceive,” Bass mentioned. “What number of occasions has he chased an unwilling interviewee? What number of occasions has he spoken fact to energy? What number of occasions has he made a distinction on one thing vital … It was an honor to be his colleague and to be witness to his work and the methods it modified the world.”

Griffin’s reporting had important influence and prompted change.

He led a yearlong investigation that uncovered delays in medical care that contributed to affected person deaths at Division of Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide. The crew’s reporting led to the resignation of the VA secretary, which was adopted by the passage of federal laws and a basic change in how veterans’ appointments are dealt with. 

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15:  U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki testifies before the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee about wait times veterans face  to get medical care May 15, 2014 in Washington, DC. The American Legion called Monday for the resignation of Shinseki amid reports by former and current VA employees that up to 40 patients may have died because of delayed treatment at an agency hospital in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The journey to Shinseki’s resignation

Amid his reporting into the excessive variety of sexual assaults allegations towards Uber drivers, the corporate modified its background verify course of and launched new security options in its app. Following the CNN investigation, Uber introduced it might dispose of a coverage that beforehand pressured people with sexual assault complaints into arbitration and made them signal non-disclosure agreements.

Patricia DiCarlo, Government Producer of CNN’s investigative unit who labored alongside Griffin for practically a decade mentioned Griffin was an distinctive author who crafted items into “compelling, must-see TV tales.”

“You understand when a Drew Griffin story begins – it’s going to be nice,” she mentioned. “His manner with phrases set him aside.”

Griffin’s tenacious method towards probably the most difficult tales and his skill to get a number of the most reluctant public figures to open up and provides their aspect of the story underscored his sense of equity. Nonetheless, he by no means missed a chance to grill them with powerful questions.

Griffin’s incisive, Emmy-award profitable investigation into fraud claims towards Trump College in 2016 uncovered the questionable, financially draining ways of a collection of actual property seminars that resulted in school motion lawsuits by individuals. In an unique interview, Griffin pressed a former Trump College teacher about his function within the scheme – not educating actual property methods, however luring individuals into paying for extra seminars: “We had been bringing within the cash,” he informed Griffin.

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When election denialism continued, Griffin labored to dispel the myths of widespread election fraud, confronting one of many greatest names in misinformation: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell. After reviewing the so-called proof, Griffin sat down with Lindell for a prolonged interview to judge his claims and, finally, laid out the reality: Lindell had “proof of nothing.”

There have been occasions, although, when Griffin, like all reporters, couldn’t get his topics to speak straight away – leading to memorable on-camera confrontations with authorities officers, particularly.

When Griffin realized of the rampant fraud in California’s state drug rehab program in 2013, he pressed the officers in cost for solutions. He lastly tracked down the top of California’s Well being and Human Providers Company, who tried dodging Griffin’s questions by operating to a restroom, which was locked. Griffin’s investigation resulted in a legislative probe and a public apology from the director of this system.

Extra lately, Griffin’s physique of labor within the aftermath of the January 6, 2021, assault on the Capitol uncovered the risks of election deniers and was cited in court docket filings by the Division of Justice and Home choose committee investigating the riot.

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Whereas investigative journalism was on the coronary heart of Griffin’s work, he typically jumped into breaking information protection – from mass shootings to devastating hurricanes. Amongst his extra memorable on-air moments was throughout Hurricane Harvey in 2017, when he rescued a person by pulling him from a sinking pickup truck.

Griffin’s confidence, exhausting work and doggedness spoke for itself on digital camera, but it was his graciousness and compassion that outlined him behind the scenes. Few within the viewers would know that after these hard-hitting interviews, Griffin would typically craft hand-written thanks notes to those that appeared in a narrative. And, whereas intensely non-public, Griffin took nice care to wrap up the massive tales – a few of which swept him internationally – so he may get house and spend time along with his household.

Colleagues remembered the veteran journalist as a sort, consummate skilled who took the time to mentor youthful reporters, cared deeply about his crew – and was at all times able to assist.

DiCarlo in contrast her time working with Griffin to “profitable the profession lottery.”

“There are simply so many individuals who labored with him and liked him – it is a devastating loss,” DiCarlo mentioned, reflecting on the crew of producers who carefully labored with Griffin on his tales. “There was nobody else like him. We had been Group Drew.”

Drew Griffin and his three children on a family trip.

A Chicago native, Griffin started his reporting profession as a reporter/cameraman for WICD-TV in Champaign, Illinois. He spent stints working for TV stations in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Washington. He grew to become an investigative reporter when he joined KIRO-TV in Seattle. He joined CBS 2 Information in Los Angeles in January 1994, the place he labored as a reporter and anchor and helped create the station’s investigative reporting crew and received a number of native awards.

When he wasn’t chasing his subsequent scoop, relations mentioned he liked to journey along with his spouse Margot, play the trumpet or take pleasure in a spherical of golf with associates. He additionally doted over his three kids whose names had been impressed by jazz greats – daughter, Ele Gast; sons, Louis and Miles Griffin – and two grandchildren.

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