Co-founder of "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" drowns at age 27

Corey Griffin died over the weekend off the coast of Massachusetts

By Sarah Gray
August 20, 2014 9:50PM (UTC)
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Beryl Lipton douses Matt Lee during the ice bucket challenge in Boston, Aug. 7, 2014 to raise funds and awareness for ALS. (AP/Elise Amendola)

Philanthropist Corey Griffin died on Aug. 16 at the age of 27. Griffin helped co-found the viral "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge," which has swept across the world this summer. The young man began actively raising money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, after his friend Pete Frates was diagnosed, the Boston Globe reported.

"Helping out was nothing new for Griff," Frates wrote on Facebook, the Independent reported. "He held his own event for me back in 2012, just a few months after diagnosis. He worked his butt off these last few weeks for ALS.  We texted everyday, planning and scheming ways to raise funds and plan events."


Griffin drowned off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, in a diving accident. At 2:00 a.m. he dove from the top of Juice Guys -- a popular diving spot for locals, located on the Straight Wharf. He apparently surfaced once, but was then pulled under by the waves.

Earlier that night, the Independent stated, the 27-year-old helped raised $100,000 at a fundraiser for ALS.

“He had an uncommon maturity about himself and understanding the responsibility of philanthropy,” Bryan Koop, a senior vice president-regional manager of Boston Properties, told the Boston Globe. “A lot of people in life watch the world spin by. He was someone who was making the world spin. This boy was really special.”


Family members described Griffin as a happy, sincere young man, who cared deeply for people.

“His biggest gift was that he didn’t just make you feel like you were the only guy in the room," his brother Mike explained. "He made you feel like you were the only guy in the world.”

The "ALS Ice Bucket Challenge" has been taken by Bill Gates, Jimmy Fallon, George W. Bush, Mark Zuckerberg and many other celebrities and politicians. According to the Independent, it has raised $22.9 million for ALS aid.

Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email

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Als Ice Bucket Challenge Corey Griffin Drowning Ice Bucket Challenge