CNN employees expressed their grief and condolences Monday after the network announced that senior investigative correspondent Drew Griffin died at age 60 after a long battle with cancer.

A revered investigative reporter known for impactful work on an array of topics, Griffin passed away Saturday, his family said. CNN CEO Chris Licht paid tribute to Griffin’s life and career in a memo to staffers Monday.

“Drew’s death is a devastating loss to CNN and our entire profession,” Licht said in the memo, according to The Hollywood Reporter. “A highly acclaimed investigative journalist, Drew’s work had incredible impact and embodied the mission of this organization in every way. He cared about seeking the truth and holding the powerful to account. He was hard-hitting, but always fair.”

Drew Griffin
CNN said Griffin had kept his illness private from most colleagues.
Charles Sykes/Invision/AP

“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.”

Griffin joined CNN in 2004 after a previous stint as an investigative reporter for CNN Los Angeles. His long list of accomplishments included a Peabody Award in 2015 for his investigative reporting on delays at Veterans Affairs hospitals that contributed to patient deaths, which led to the VA secretary’s resignation.

A four-time Emmy winner, Griffin was also known for his reporting on Hurricane Katrina, fraud claims against Trump University and the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, among many other stories.

Drew Griffin speaking at an awards ceremony
Drew Griffin joined CNN in 2004.
Ilya S. Savenok
Drew Griffin speaking to Sarah Palin
Drew Griffin was known for his investigative reporting.
Getty Images

CNN anchor Don Lemon broke down in tears while announcing Griffin’s death on the network’s morning show, describing him as “our colleague and friend and longtime distinguished CNN journalist.”

Co-anchor Kaitlin Collins comforted Lemon as he broke down over the sad news.

“I know this is tough for you. He said he was one of the first people you met at CNN,” Collins said. “Drew was such a gifted storyteller.”

Other CNN personalities took to Twitter to express their condolences.

“RIP Drew Griffin. Horrible news,” Jake Tapper wrote.

“We lost a beloved colleague. Drew Griffin embodied everything that makes a journalist great. He was tenacious, curious, honest, dedicated and kind. He was admired by all of us @cnn,” said Poppy Harlow. “To his wife Margot and their 3 children I am so sorry for your loss. We will always remember him.”

Griffin is survived by his wife, Margot, three children and two grandchildren.


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Tyler Cowan