Peter graduated from Central Collegiate School in Regina, Saskatchewan. At Princeton he was secretary of Campus Club, took part in crew and tennis and majored in the School of Public and International Affairs. Peter graduated from medical school at Columbia and was chief resident at Bellevue Hospital and clinical associate at the National Institutes of Health.
At age 60 he made an abrupt life change, devoting the rest of his life to a vast number of volunteer social-benefit causes. He wrote a book, Cancer in the Body Politic, promoting universal health care, that drew praise from Bill Moyers and Howard Zinn. The causes he led ranged from Latin America to the American Civil Liberties Union and the Sanctuary Movement.
Gail, Peter’s wife of 65 years and his partner in many of his volunteer ventures, said, “He did what he set out to do; even I was astounded at all that he did. Through it all, his several strokes, open-heart surgery and other issues, he was cheerful, genial, totally gentle, and serene. I don’t think he ever had a trivial thought. His life was not ordinary in any way.”
Peter is survived by Gail; sons John, Jim, and Bill; daughter Emily Duncannon; and six grandchildren.