“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.”
According to CNN, Griffin worked on hundreds of stories and multiple documentaries over the course of nearly two decades on the network’s CNN’s investigative team. His reporting had been honored with such awards as Emmys, Peabodys, and Murrows.
Griffin had kept his illness private from most of his co-workers and had been reporting up until the day he passed, the network reports.
Michael Bass, CNN’s Executive Vice President of Programming, said in a note to the investigative team, “Fearless and artful at the same time, he knew how to push a story forward to its limits, but also tell it in a way that would make everyone understand. How many times has he chased an unwilling interviewee? How many times has he spoken truth to power? How many times has he made a difference on something important … It was an honor to be his colleague and to be witness to his work and the ways it changed the world.”
Among Griffin’s most noted assignments was a yearlong investigation that uncovered delays in medical care that contributed to patient deaths at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals nationwide. His team’s reporting led to the resignation of the VA secretary, which was followed by the passage of federal legislation and a fundamental change in how veterans’ appointments are handled.
Other Griffin reports included investigations into sexual assaults allegations against Uber drivers, fraud claims against Trump University, and reports that dispeled the myths of widespread election fraud, among many others.
Patricia DiCarlo, Executive Producer of CNN’s investigative unit who worked alongside Griffin for nearly a decade, said in a CNN report on his death that “Griffin was an exceptional writer who crafted pieces into “compelling, must-see TV stories. You know when a Drew Griffin story starts – it’s going to be great. His way with words set him apart.”
A Chicago native, Griffin launched his journalism career as a reporter/cameraman for WICD-TV in Champaign, Illinois, and worked for TV stations in Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Washington. He joined CBS 2 News in Los Angeles in January 1994.
He is survived by wife Margot, three children and two grandchildren.