Visit the David Suzuki Legacy Project Page
for inspiration to start to live your own legacy, including clips from the documentary film based on David Suzuki's life and the Legacy Lecture.
David T. Suzuki, PhD, is an internationally renowned scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster who has spent over 40 years educating people about science and environmental issues in the classroom and over the airwaves.
Dr. Suzuki is acclaimed for his ability to explain the complexities of science in a compelling and easy-to-understand way. His face is familiar to millions around the world from the popular science TV show The Nature of Things, which he has hosted since 1979.
David Suzuki: School Years
A third-generation Japanese-Canadian, David Suzuki was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1936. During World War II, six-year-old David and his family were sent to an internment camp in the Slocan Valley in the B.C. Interior—a wartime measure prescribed by the federal government.
After the war, the Suzuki family moved east to Ontario: first to Islington, then to Leamington, and finally to London, where David attended high school. He continued his education by winning a scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts, graduating with an Honours B.A. in Biology in 1958; which he followed with a PhD in zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961.
A respected geneticist and a gifted lecturer, Dr. Suzuki was a professor in the University of British Columbia’s zoology department for 30 years (1963–93). For the eight years leading up to his retirement in 2001, he taught as a professor at the university’s Sustainable Development Research Institute, where he is now a professor emeritus.
David Suzuki: Television and Radio
After dabbling in the medium since 1962, David Suzuki’s television broadcasting career began formally in 1969 when he appeared on screens across Canada as the host of Suzuki on Science. The show played only two seasons but led to Dr. Suzuki hosting another Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) series called Science Magazine for five years, from 1974-79.
David Suzuki shifted to CBC radio in 1975 to host Quirks and Quarks, a weekly science show. He hosted for four years.
In 1979, David Suzuki left both Science Magazine and Quirks and Quarks to become host of CBC television's The Nature of Things. Seen today in over 50 countries around the world, The Nature of Things has helped make David Suzuki a household name.
In addition to hosting The Nature of Things weekly, David Suzuki has produced numerous other television series and specials, including:
- A Planet for the Taking (1985), which won an award from the United Nations,
- The Sacred Balance (2002), which was later turned into a book,
- A PBS series on DNA, The Secret of Life (1993), which was praised internationally,
- A five-part series for the Discovery Channel, The Brain: The Universe Within (1994).
For CBC Radio, David Suzuki created two influential documentary series on the environment: It’s a Matter of Survival (1984) and From Naked Ape to Superspecies (1999).
David Suzuki: Author and Books
In addition being a broadcaster, David Suzuki has authored more than 40 books for adults and children. His most recent is the second volume of his life story, David Suzuki: The Autobiography, published by Greystone Books in hardcover (April 2006) and paperback (April 2007) editions.
David Suzuki: Awards and Accolades
Over the years, David Suzuki has received numerous Canadian and international awards for his work. Some notable awards include:
- UNESCO prize for science
- United Nations Environment Programme medal
- Companion of the Order of Canada
- 19 honorary university doctorates from schools in Canada, the United States, and Australia.
In addition, David Suzuki has received many tributes from Canada’s First Nations people, along with five names (Big Mountain; Man Who Knows Much; My Own; Sacred Mountain; Mountain Man; Eagle Child) and “adoption” by both Haida and Heiltsuk families.
In 2004, CBC television viewers nominated him as one of ten “Greatest Canadians” of all time.
David Suzuki Foundation
David Suzuki is recognized as a world leader in sustainable ecology. He has devoted himself wholeheartedly to educating the public about the importance of the natural world and the need to protect it.
In 1990, David and his wife, Dr. Tara Cullis, co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation, a non-profit organization that works to find ways for people to live sustainably in balance with the natural world and which uses science and education to promote solutions that help conserve nature. David Suzuki currently serves as chair of the Foundation.
David Suzuki lives with his wife in Vancouver, British Columbia. In his little free time, David says he enjoys fishing, camping, and exploring the world of insects and tidal pools.