Senior Investigative CNN journalist Drew Griffin has died at the age of 60.
Mr Griffin’s death on Sunday came after a long battle with cancer, his family said in a statement to the network.
“Drew’s death is a devastating loss to CNN and our entire profession,” staff was informed in a statement by CNN CEO Chris Licht. “A highly acclaimed investigative journalist, Drew’s work had [an] incredible impact and embodied the mission of this organization in every way.”
CNN This Morning anchor Don Lemon broke down in tears when announcing Mr Griffin’s passing on Monday, saying the late journalist’s work “embodied the mission of [CNN] in every way.”
On social media, tributes poured in for the veteran correspondent, who covered the war on terror in Israel, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks in New York City, illegal drift in Singapore and famine in Somalia in the nearly 20 years he spent with CNN’s Special Investigative Unit.
While he received several journalistic awards throughout his career, Mr Griffin’s work notably led to policy adjustments.
He earned an Investigative Reporter and Editor’s award for exposing an underground medical network in Los Angeles, while his coverage of sexual assault allegations by Uber customers prompted the ride-hailing company to introduce new safety measures.
For his investigation into delays at Veterans Affairs hospitals, which uncovered the deaths of 19 military veterans due to appointment delays and ultimately led to VA Secretary Eric Shinseki’s resignation, Mr Griffin earned a Peabody Award in 2015.
Mr Griffin was also the recipient of an Edward R. Murrow Award for exposing fraudulent soliciting at Los Angeles International Airport.
He was named Journalist of the Year in the category of national television reporting in 2007 by the Atlanta Press Club and won three national Emmy Awards throughout his career.
Fellow correspondent Omar Jimenez wrote on Twitter that “every time Drew Griffin did a story I knew I needed to turn up the volume.”
CNN political commentator John Avlon also tweeted: “Just gutted by the news that Drew Griffin has passed away. He was a great investigative journalist – the most important beat for CNN and society – and a good man, gone far too soon.”
CNN’s Executive Vice President of Programming Michael Bass commended Mr Griffin for his relentless passion and commitment to journalism.
“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,” Mr Bass said, per CNN.
“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.”
This is a developing story … Check again for updates.
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