Susan Candiotti may be best known for her 21-year career as national correspondent at CNN. But the journalistic foundation for that career was forming here in Western New York.
If there was a major national story, chances are Susan covered it … and won awards in doing so. She played a key role CNN’s award-winning investigative team covering the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C. While reporting on the Times Square bomber as it happened, she was the first reporter to find and reveal video of the plotter buying ingredients for his homemade device.
Susan also led the team of correspondents covering the Boston Marathon bombing and broke ongoing developments in the investigation. She was also the first CNN correspondent on the scene of the Sandy Hook shooting.
Some of her other notable assignments included Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake, the Penn State child abuse scandal and trial, the Elian Gonzalez story, the Oklahoma City bombing investigation, trial and execution of Timothy McVeigh, which included an interview with McVeigh in prison.
Susan has covered many air disasters over the years including the being the first CNN team on the scene of the Miracle on the Hudson. Her career has also included presidential politics as she covered the 2000 Florida Presidential recount and 2008 Presidential campaign.
Buffalo played an important role in her growth as a journalist while producing and reporting for WGR-TV in the early 1980s.
“I was always impressed how she came to understand the community and the people in it,” said Rich Kellman, who was the news anchor for WGR during that time. “I think it helped her put stories into proper perspectives.”
Susan was also developing the skills that helped her become a great investigative reporter. “She was such a hard worker and when Susan got ahold of a story, she wasn’t going to rest until she found the truth,” added Ed Kilgore, Sports Director at WGR-TV at that time.
In addition to CNN and WGR, she worked at TV stations in Miami, Binghamton and Altoona, Pennsylvania. Susan Candiotti earned a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago, graduating with honors.