Articles/Biographies/Other/Suzuki, David

Known to the world and all Canadians as the host of "The Nature of Things", David Suzuki is a down to Earth environmentalist, scientist and broadcaster.

David T. Suzuki was born to his parents Setsu and Kaoru Kaoru Carr Suzuki in Vancouver, B.C along with his twin sister Marcia in 1936. His grandparents had immigrated to Canada at the beginning of the 20th Century, making him a third-generation Japanese Canadian.

David grew up with his family in the back of their dry-cleaning business in Marpole. His father being an avid sportsman, David began experiencing nature from an early age while on camping and fishing trips.

In 1942 he Suzuki family was sent to an internment camp following the Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor. The government sold the family dry-cleaning business and sent David, his mother and two sisters to a camp in the Slocan Valley, while his father had been sent to a labor camp in Solsqua. Suzuki's third sister "Dawn" was later born while in the camp. Later, despite having to deal with the horrors of the internment camp, David became became a target for other Japanese youth for refusing to denounce his Canadian roots.

After the war, Suzuki and his family were forced to move East. At one point The family stayed in an abandoned hotel in a former gold rush town for three years. Later they moved and stayed in places moved to Islington, Leamington, and London, Ontario.

David enrolled in Amherst College in Massachusetts on a scholarship in 1954. After graduating from Amherst in 1958, he earned his PhD in Zoology from the University of Chicago and returned to Canada.

At the same time Suzuki began his own family, and married Setsuko Joane Sunahara and had three children Tamiko, Laura, and Troy.

Suzuki started work with a teaching position at University of Alberta in 1962. His knowledge not being limited to teaching, David started appearing on TV shows and tried to rally support for under funded sciences.

In 1971, David made the switch to broadcasting and hosted a weekly television show on CBC called 'Suzuki On Science'. It was around this time he married second wife Tara Elizabeth Cullis whom with he had two daughters Sarika, and Severn Cullis-Suzuki.

Four years later David founded the radio show 'Quirks and Quarks' for CBC which was also a giant hit and gained a loyal audience especially of those in the scientific community.

In 1979, David took his most famous role as the host of 'The Nature of Things'. This show which is still airing after 3 decades was labeled as a hit and became one of the most popular and respected shows on Canadian Television. The show has aired groundbreaking documentaries including an episode in 1987 focused on the emerging AIDS/HIV epidemic, providing many people worldwide with their first understanding of the disease.

David has received many awards, including the 'Order of Canada', Canadas most prestigious award,a UNESCO prize for science, and a United Nations Environment Program medal. He also finished 5th place in the 'Top Ten Greatest Canadians' award conducted by CBC in 2004.

David is also the founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding innovative solutions to help conserve the natural world. The Suzuki Foundation's main role is backing the implementation of the United Nations Kyoto Protocol on greenhouse gas reduction.

David has written thirty-three books, including fifteen for children and his biography. Suzuki, now in his older years has retired from teaching, but has dedicated himself to his show and to educating the public about the natural world.

Article written by Ryan Woodford