Andy Driscoll, longtime KFAI volunteer and host of Truth To Tell, passed away on Sunday, July 20th at the age of 74. Andy had spent years in a struggle against pulmonary disease, and within the past year he went through chemotherapy for esophageal cancer and endured a series of strokes. In spite of the challenges, Andy continued to work with his Truth To Tell team to produce compelling radio programs through his nonprofit organization, Civic Media Minnesota.
Andy’s final KFAI broadcast was a conversation on June 23rd about the recent trials of the Minnesota Orchestra and the renewed excitement of classical music fans with the signing of a musician contract and the return of Osmo Vanska. Appropriately, Andy’s sign-off was followed by another rich, deep voice – a cello played by the orchestra’s own Tony Ross. The audio of that program is included on this page [below].
A tribute to Andy is in the planning stages.
His fellow KFAI volunteers have expressed their sadness at Andy’s passing and their appreciation of his talents and passion. Here are some of those comments:
This is impossibly sad news. Andy’s work on Truth to Tell made it a kind of program that any station would be proud of, this was real journalism and each story was handled with care and tact. My deep sympathy for Andy’s family and co-hosts.
This is a sad day. In the several intense discussions I had with Andy Driscoll about the roles of news and public affairs at KFAI, and the future of KFAI generally, I developed a deep respect for what he brought, with his integrity, values, and decades of professional experience. I told him “your work is what we imagined public affairs programming at KFAI could be like”. He will be missed, and we should all remember his love for KFAI and dedication to addressing issues under-reported by mainstream media.
Andy was a mentor to me, and many, at KFAI. He was always supportive and encouraging, and built a brilliant team around Truth to Tell and Civic Media Minnesota. I have such respect for him as a journalist, social justice advocate and friend. He was passionate, feisty and extremely dedicated to KFAI. I’ll miss him terribly.
You might have known Andy as a newscast person and hard hitting journalist and political reporter. He was all that and darn good at it too. He was also not unhappy to give my questions no matter how bizarre a second look. I learned a lot from him about capturing the seed of a story and following up on leads and being wary of the Internet as a source. He repeatedly mentored and encouraged me to write, play music, find the good people in this crazy world and question the official story, no matter whose it might be. At the moment, there seems to be a huge empty in this big world.
A good friend and a tireless advocate for those whose voices were ignored or marginalized. He also had quite a history in theatre, and I was proud to have worked with him in a Fringe show just two summers ago. He will indeed be missed.
Rest In Peace Andy, your contributions to the planet were immense and will never be forgotten.
My heart was saddened by this news. Sometimes I forget that life in human form is not forever, and I take for granted that person will be there when I need to reach out to them. My heart goes out to Andy’s family and those who loved him dearly. And Andy, may your spirit soar beyond the skies to the place you always dreamed of. Harmony and light
I was very saddened to hear about Andy’s passing. He was a friend and like many others at KFAI and elsewhere I was a beneficiary of his mentorship. He taught me how to report news. He gave me my first break on radio and helped to facilitate the birth of Capitol Conversations. Perhaps most importantly though, Andy helped me believe that fighting for the voiceless was not a lost cause and if it ever became so, than we weren’t doing our jobs right. Speaking about that fight he once said to me, “We’re not just here to tell a story, we’re obligated make people listen by elevating the issues and those without a voice”. At the heart of it I think Andy despised unfairness. He fought to level the playing field wherever he saw it was uneven. Andy was dedicated to elevating the cause of justice. He could on occasion be combative and downright stubborn, but it was only because he was fighting for a cause larger then himself. And when that simple truth became evident, as it always would, you knew why he was who he was. Few people have the courage, conviction, energy and wherewithal to take on such a task in life, but Andy did and we’re all better off because of it. The best we can do to honor Andy’s memory and pay respect to his decades of work is to continue it. Andy helped create and build a legacy of that gives voice to the voiceless, power to the disenfranchised and a measure of justice in a a world that needs more fighters like him. So please join us as we pick up the banner of our fallen friend and continue to bend that arc toward justice. I know that is what Andy would want.
I will miss our discussions on social justice and about KFAI – mostly one and the same…
I will miss your booming voice
I will miss your big heart
Most of all, I will miss YOU.
As Andy’s Irish ancestors would say: déan trócaire ar a anam mar téann sé ar aghaidh (Have mercy on his soul as he journeys onward)
Andy’s departure is leaving a big hole in a lot of people’s lives. My sympathies go out to his family and colleagues. He will be greatly missed for a very long time.