David Suzuki is Canada's finest science broadcaster. He also carries a global reputation as a geneticist, professor, public lecturer, and environmental and civil rights activist.
A third-generation Japanese-Canadian, Suzuki, born in Vancouver, British Columbia, on March 24, 1936, was raised in the back of the family dry cleaner's shop. He went on weekly fishing and camping trips, his father pointed out all the animals, birds, trees, and plants they encountered. It was these trips that shaped his interest in nature.
Like most Japanese-Canadians living on Canada's West coast, as a consequence of a war-time measure by the government, the Suzuki's were sent to an internment camp at Slocan, British Columbia in 1942. However his father was sent away to help build a highway through the mountains. David spent four years in the harsh conditions of the camp. He still continued with his schooling while in the camp. He began grade 1 when he was 7 years old and he excelled through grade one, two, and three in one year. After the war his family moved to Leamington, Ontario. Once they had settled down David's interest in nature continued to grow. He turned his room into a little museum of rocks, fossils, freshwater fish, insects, etc. At his high school David was the winner of many public speaking contests. His father made him practice his speeches over and over until he knew them by heart. Also if he stuttered on a word of didn't use proper hand gestures his father would make him start the speech from the beginning. Upon graduating from his high school in London he earned a scholarship to Amherst College in Massachusetts. It was in his first year there that he became interested in genetics. He graduated in 1958 with a B.A in Biology, he continued his graduate studies and earned a Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Chicago in 1961. He examined the chromosomal crossover of the fruit fly for his doctorial thesis.