Television Anchor Leslie Griffith dies from Lyme Disease


After a long battle with Lyme disease, Leslie Griffith, a journalist and television anchor, has passed away. More than 20 years she worked as an anchor for the network. KTVU Channel 2.  According to the station, Griffith died in Lake Chapala (Mexico) on August 17. KTVU was her home for most of her 22-year tenure, where she worked alongside veteran anchor Dennis Richmond. Griffith covered crime and other local news events before she became an anchor. Live broadcasts made her a beloved host. She was able to work independently, moving from one source and asking the right questions to experts, newsmakers, and her fellow journalists.  

Borrelia burgdorferi is the tick-borne disease Lyme disease. Lyme disease can also be carried by deer ticks. The bacteria causes a rash that is often bull’s-eye-shaped, along with flu-like symptoms and possibly joint pain and weakness. Antibiotic treatment is usually sufficient to cure Lyme disease. Other people may experience more severe side affects. 

Griffith worked before television for The Denver Post, The Associated Press, and The Denver Post. Even after she became an anchor, Griffith continued to write for publications like the Huffington Post or San Francisco Chronicle. She was an activist for animal rights. Griffith was concerned about the tuberculosis epidemic in circus elephants. She advocated for getting circus elephants out. She founded the Leslie R. Griffith Woman of Courage Scholarship for young women in 2005. 

Griffith was bitten by a tick in Oregon, 2015 according to a relative. Griffith had a Mexican home and has lived there ever since. 

Industry mourns her passing, particularly those who worked at KTVU. “This is shocking news. I mean, this is someone I had known for, you know, past 25 years or so,”John Sasaki, a former reporter at KTVU. He is now a spokesperson for Oakland Unified Schools District. “She was one of those really vibrant, vivacious, you know, very alive people. You always knew that she was there. She was just this really powerful figure in the newsroom.” 

Sasaki recognized Griffith’s ability to relate to people and her storytelling abilities. “I remember her before I joined KTVU. I remember watching her. It’s one of those voices that you always connect with. I mean, Elaine Corral is another one, Dennis Richmond is another one…these people who are just kind of legendary in the KTVU family. Those are people that you don’t forget,”Sasaki.

Griffith is survived her two daughters, Trenton, and Carly. Eric, her son, and two grandchildren are also survivors. She was 66.