Drew Griffin, an award-winning CNN investigative correspondent, died on Saturday after a long battle with cancer, the network announced.
“Drew’s death is a devastating loss to CNN and our entire profession,” CNN CEO Chris Licht said in a note to staff. “A highly acclaimed investigative journalist, Drew’s work had incredible impact and embodied the mission of this organization in every way.”
“His work ethic was unparalleled,” Licht added. “He spent long hours poring over documents and working the phones. Even as he battled cancer, he refused to give up on the reporting that was so important to him and was even working on an investigation until the day he passed away.”
Colleagues remembered the journalist as a generous and kind professional who cared deeply about his team and was always willing to mentor younger reporters, according to CNN. He reportedly kept his cancer battle private from most of his colleagues.
Griffin worked for nearly two decades on CNN’s investigative team. Among his scores of impactful investigations were his deep dives into the high number of sexual assault allegations against Uber drivers, fraud claims against Trump University, and financial misconduct in California’s state drug rehab program.
The veteran journalist also made memorable forays into breaking news coverage. He was on the ground in New York following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In 2017, while reporting on Hurricane Harvey, he rescued a man from a sinking pickup truck live on air.
His reporting landed numerous prestigious journalism prizes, including Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and an Edward R. Murrow award.
In an on-air look-back on Griffin’s career, CNN’s Anderson Cooper highlighted some of the journalist’s dogged reporting across business, politics, environment and more, and the real-world change his work affected.
“His interviews were unwavering, and he gave a voice to those who didn’t have one.” Cooper said. “Drew was a gifted storyteller dedicated to seeking the truth and holding the powerful accountable.”
“Drew won most of journalism’s big awards, but that’s not what motivated him. He cared about people and how they were impacted.”
Griffin got his start in journalism as a cameraman and reporter at WICD in Champaign, Illinois, near his hometown of Chicago.
He worked at TV stations in Illinois, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Washington before moving in 1994 to CBS 2 News in Los Angeles, where he helped found the station’s investigations team. He joined CNN in 2004, moving to Atlanta.
In his downtime, he loved to travel with his wife, Margot, play the trumpet and golf with friends, family members told CNN. He had three children: Ele Gast, Louis and Miles Griffin; and two grandchildren.