CNN Senior Investigative Correspondent Drew Griffin Dies After Battle With Cancer

By A.J. Katz 

We’re reporting some awful news about TV news to begin the week: CNN senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin died Saturday after a long battle with cancer, his family said. He was only 60.

“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.”

Griffin worked on hundreds of stories and multiple documentaries over the course of nearly two decades on CNN’s investigative team. His reporting had been honored with Emmys, Peabodys, and Murrows.


“But people mattered more to Drew than prizes,” Licht said.

Based in CNN’s world HQ in Atlanta, Griffin joined the network more than 18 years ago after working as an investigative reporter for CBS 2 News in Los Angeles for a decade.

CNN’s programming head Michael Bass shared a note of his own to the investigative team on Sunday, “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,” Bass said. “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 the countless stories Griffin dug deep into was a 2015 investigation that uncovered delays in medical care that contributed to patient deaths at VA hospitals nationwide, which earned him a Peabody. The team’s reporting led to the resignation of the VA secretary.

Later that year, Griffin won a national Emmy for business and financial reporting concerning his reports on a fault in Ford vehicles which allegedly caused them to catch fire. He earned his second national Emmy in 2006 for the CNN Presents documentary How to Rob a Bank and a third in 2007 for Hidden Spending, an AC360 segment about congressional spending. In 2007, the Atlanta Press Club named him Journalist of the Year in the category of national television reporting, and the National Press Foundation gave him its Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for Distinguished Coverage of Congress.

In September 2005, Griffin traveled to New Orleans to cover the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. His reporting about the looting by some New Orleans police officers led to a police force investigation. He also broke stories surrounding nursing home deaths in the wake of Katrina.

A versatile reporter (in case the above hasn’t made that clear), Griffin’s work as an investigative reporter has taken him across the world enabling him to cover a famine in Somalia, illegal drift net fishermen in Singapore and Los Angeles gang members in El Salvador. He has interviewed U.S. and Russian presidents. Griffin reported from New York for CBS 2 News after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and from Israel to cover the war on terrorism.

Some colleague reactions to Griffin’s passing, including CNN This Morning’s on-air segment from earlier today:

Newsers at other networks chimed in as well: