According to R.B. Fleming’s new tell-all Peter Gzowski biography, the late radio broadcaster had many skeletons in the closet, including a child from a secret affair and a drunk driving charge that led to the loss of his licence for three months. It’s a shocking revelation for those who deemed the Order of Canada inductee the “Captain of Canada,” a moniker he held throughout his 15 years conducting riveting interviews for CBC’s Morningside radio show. Gzowski, who smoked up to 80 cigarettes a day, died of emphysema in 2002, but long before his health declined, he struggled with depression and alcoholism.
The epilogue of the biography divulges the sordid tale of an affair Gzowski had with a woman named Cathy Perkins in 1961. Gzowski, who was married with children, had a son with Perkins, but he reportedly rarely visited him and usually drank or gambled away the $30 monthly child support payments. Fleming insists he doesn’t want the scandals revealed in the book to overshadow Gzowski’s achievements as a broadcaster and charitable figure (he raised millions of dollars for literacy through his annual golf tournaments). “I hope that people will not say, ‘My respect for Peter Gzowski diminished because this biographer showed that he was a human being,”‘ he told Canadian Press. Peter Gzowski: A Biography will be released this week.