Happy Birthday David Suzuki: Celebrating 80 Years of Inspirational Thinking

In his book Letters to My Grandchildren, David Suzuki writes that “acceptance of aging is part of getting older; some call it wisdom. And when we accept what we are, then we define ourselves and no longer care about how others see us. Believe me, that is totally liberating and gives power to an elder who is speaking.”

“Wisdom” hardly encompasses all of what can be said about a man who has shared his ideas, inspiration, and passion for the world we live in for well over half of his life. David Suzuki’s work and achievements have taken large steps to promote sustainability and environmental responsibility. His is a birthday for which the whole world has cause to celebrate.

Who could have known that the child harvesting potatoes and celery to make money for his family would one day be the author of 52 books (19 of them for children), as well as the most widely used genetics textbook in the U.S.? David Suzuki’s impressive career follows a long, inspired, and tireless path: from his graduation from Amherst College in Massachusetts in 1958 with an Honours BA in Biology to obtaining a PhD in Zoology from the University of Chicago in 1961. He held a research associateship in the Biology Division of Tennessee’s Oak Ridge National Lab from 1961 to 62, was an Assistant Professor in Genetics at the University of Alberta (from 1962 to 63), and is now a member of the University of British Columbia faculty. He holds 25 honorary degrees in Canada, the U.S., and Australia.

He has won numerous awards, including four Gemini Awards for his work on Canadian television. His eight-part TV series called A Planet for the Taking won an award from the United Nations. The Secret Life and The Brain, more of his television work, were both praised internationally. He also spent 30 years of award-winning work in broadcasting, including CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks and two influential documentary CBC radio series: It’s a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies.

Through presentations, lectures, media campaigns, documentaries, radio, and TV, David Suzuki has worked tirelessly to spread the message of the interconnectedness of all things and the need to live sustainably. He co-founded the David Suzuki Foundation, a charitable organization that works around the world to protect our climate, create livable communities, establish environmental rights and justice, transform the economy, connect with nature, and build community.

In the past few decades, in addition to Letters to My Grandchildren, David Suzuki has published works such as The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature, More Good News: Real Solutions to the Global Eco-Crisis, The Legacy: An Elder’s Vision for Our Sustainable Future, and David Suzuki: The Autobiography. We look forward to many years to come filled with his passion and wisdom. We believe we speak for hundreds of thousands people around the world when we say: Happy Birthday, David Suzuki!

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