Peter Kavanagh, Canadian radio producer, Died at 63

Peter Gerard Kavanagh was born on June 12, 1953,and died on September 7, 2016.

He was a Canadian radio producer, television producer, and writer.

He worked with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and CBC Radio.

He was the creator of Canada Reads, an annual “battle of the books” competition which was first broadcast on CBC Radio in 2002.

Initially he conceived of the idea for what would become Canada Reads after learning of a similar program on public radio in the United States.

On the program, selected was five prominent Canadians, known as “advocates,” each select a book.

Then the CBC Radio listeners then choose the winner.

All the Past winners of the competition have included Michael Ondaatje, Joseph Boyden and Kim Thúy.

He was a co-producer on the first season of Canada Reads before leaving the show to pursue other CBC projects.

Kavanagh was born in Deep River, Ontario, as the third of five children of Cyril and Thelma Kavanagh.

Kavanagh contracted paralytic poliomyelitis when he was just two months old and spent much of his early infancy and childhood as a patient at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.

Kavanagh endured medical procedures and surgeries throughout his life.

After he passed 60-years old, Kavanagh underwent a surgery to lengthen one of his legs, making both legs the same length for the first time.

Because of the operation, he had to learn how to walk again.

Kavanagh documented his experience in his memoir, The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times, which was published in 2013.

He retired from the CBC in 2013.

He died due to a heart attack.