Christopher Sign was a longtime television news anchor and former University of Alabama football player. He was found dead on June 12, 2021, at age 45. Police were investigating Sign’s death as a suicide, according to AL.com.
Sign leaves behind a wife and three sons. Heavy has reached out to the Hoover, Alabama, police department for more information.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
Christopher Sign Gained Nationwide Recognition as the Reporter Who Revealed Bill Clinton’s Tarmac Meeting With Loretta Lynch in 2016
Sign gained national attention when he was working as a reporter for ABC affiliate KNXV-TV in Phoenix, Arizona. He was credited for being the first journalist to report on a meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch in June 2016.
Clinton famously boarded Lynch’s government plane as it sat on the tarmac at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. He was on her plane for about 20 minutes. The optics created a political firestorm as critics slammed the behind-closed-doors meeting as inappropriate.
Hillary Clinton was under investigation by the Justice Department at the time. Officials were analyzing whether her email practices while she was Secretary of State, like having a private server, had violated any laws. As the New York Times reported at the time, Republican lawmakers said Bill Clinton’s meeting with Lynch could have compromised the investigation. This was also in the middle of the 2016 presidential election.
Sign went on to write a book about the controversy called “Secret on the Tarmac.” Sign told Fox News that based on his sources, he believed the meeting between Clinton and Lynch had been planned in advance. Sign said he had a source who witnessed Clinton’s movements at the airport that day. According to Sign’s source, Clinton waited for Lynch’s plane to arrive at the airport.
Sign told Fox News, “This story isn’t about right or left, Republican, Democrat. It’s about right and wrong in journalism. And that was my focus in this. It’s about real journalism. Getting to the facts.”
He claimed his family received “significant death threats” after he broke the story. Sign added their credit cards were hacked. He credited his former University of Alabama teammates and coaches for rallying around him and his family amid the negative attention.
Sign Played Football at the University of Alabama Before Starting His Journalism Career
According to his bio on the ABC 33/40 website, Sign grew up in the Dallas area. He was recruited to play football at the University of Alabama under Coach Gene Stallings and had a full scholarship. He played offensive lineman from 1994 to 1997, The Tuscaloosa News reported.
Sign said he credited Stallings and Coach Mike Dubose for helping him launch his journalism career. He first worked at ABC 33/40 in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the TV station said. He won a national Edward R. Murrow Award for his coverage of a deadly tornado that hit Tuscaloosa in 2000.
Sign and his family returned to the Birmingham, Alabama, area after about 13 years in Arizona. He accepted a weekend anchor job back at ABC 33/40 in 2017. The TV station noted after Sign’s death that he had “turned down an opportunity to work for one of the national networks to come to ABC 33/40, and he made that decision because of his family.”
Sign Was Remembered as a Family Man Who Loved Spending Time With His 3 Boys
Sign’s wife, Laura, was also a University of Alabama alum. She played volleyball for the Crimson Tide and was named All-SEC during her tenure, according to AL.com.
The couple wanted to raise their three sons in Birmingham, according to Sign’s bio on ABC 33/40. The TV station said Sign turned down a national network job in order to preserve time with his family: “That decision put him in a place where he could see his boys off to school in the mornings, watch them play baseball in the evenings, and take them fishing on the weekends.”
Sign’s employer praised him as a “tremendous leader” and a “passionate” journalist. In a statement, ABC 33/40 Vice President & General Manager Eric Land said Sign’s “indelible imprint will serve forever as a hallmark of decency, honesty and journalist integrity. We can only hope to carry on his legacy.”