Latest NewsLegendary Vancouver reporter George Garrett signs off at 89

Legendary Vancouver reporter George Garrett signs off at 89

George Garrett, who for more than four decades helped Vancouver’s 980 CKNW earn its reputation as a destination for breaking news, has passed away at age 89 after a battle with skin cancer.

Raised on a farm near Chaplin, SK, Garrett got his start in broadcasting at CJNB North Battleford in 1954, before a short stint at 800 CHAB Moose Jaw, where he had auditioned years earlier as a 15-year-old. By age 20, he had joined CKNW, where his 43-year run with the station began in 1956. His dogged pursuit of local stories in Lower Mainland, B.C. and insatiable curiosity earned him a reputation as an “Intrepid Reporter,” the name of his 2019 memoir.

George Garrett in the Alka Seltzer news cruiser circa 1959

Garrett was known for his risk-taking and willingness to go undercover to get a scoop, including baring it all to get an interview with a local nudist colony. Among other big stories, he became an authority on the Clifford Olsen child serial murders in the early 1980s and was infamously a victim of an assault during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992 that left him with a broken jaw and subsequent titanium plate. He retired from the station in 1999.

At CKNW’s 75th anniversary celebrations in 2019, Garrett told Broadcast Dialogue that his enduring relationship with listeners had been one of the most fulfilling parts of his career.

Garrett at a book signing in 2019

“It’s very touching. I knew in my heart that all through the years…when I was assaulted in Los Angeles, when my wife came down with Alzheimer’s, we lost our son in a canoeing accident…people were really with me all the way. They felt my pain, they knew about my successes, and I had a bond with people,” Garrett shared.

Over the years, he received many accolades for his work, including the Jack Webster Foundation’s Bruce Hutchison Lifetime Achievement Award. The City of New Westminster, where CKNW signed on in 1944, proclaimed August 26 “George Garrett Intrepid Reporter Day” in 2019.

Listen to Garrett’s interview with Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast on CKNW’s 75th anniversary in New Westminster here:

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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