On this day in New York, New York in 1942, Jeffrey Wigand – a man called the ‘Ultimate Whistleblower’ – was born.
It was his work with tobacco giant, Brown and Williamson, which led to him exposing the information “that high-ranking corporate executives knowingly approved the addition of additives to their cigarettes that were known to be carcinogenic…” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Wigand). He went on to not only offer testimony against the tobacco industry, but became a chemistry and Japanese language teacher at Louisville, Kentucky’s duPont Manual Magnet High School, eventually being awarded Teacher of the Year for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He is currently a lecturer and consultant, particularly in educating young people in the dangers of smoking.
In 1999, the Michael Mann directed movie, The Insider, told the story of Wigand’s life at the time of his ‘whistleblowing,’ and starred Oscar winner Al Pacino as CBS network producer Lowell Bergman, and – in his first Academy Award nominated performance – Russell Crowe as Wigand.
An interview with Crowe regarding the role can be found on Wigand’s website: http://www.jeffreywigand.com/bio.php.
More about the real Wigand can be found at the website: http://www.jeffreywigand.com/index.php