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John Griffin, 82; chronicled the food industry unsparingly

John Griffin said he wanted “to report what’s going on, good, bad, or indifferent.”
John Griffin said he wanted “to report what’s going on, good, bad, or indifferent.”

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Anyone who read John Griffin’s columns knew he was not engaging in overstatement when he attributed the success of The Griffin Report of Food Marketing, which he founded in 1966, to “a provocative editorial approach.”

The obligation of his trade publication, he told the Globe in 1977, was “to report what’s going on, good, bad, or indifferent.” He added that “we’re critical very often and are accused of biting the hand that feeds us.”

Mr. Griffin, who also built pieces of furniture that were as elegant as the pithy sentences he crafted, died Feb. 10 in Belmont. He was 82 and previously lived for many years in Dennis.

“There’s never been a trade paper quite like John Griffin’s,” said Thomas Stemberg, founder of the Staples office supply chain.

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