- Company: Barrick Gold
- Year of birth: 1927
- Last known country of residence: Switzerland
Main achievements in the field
In 1993 Peter Munk was given the opportunity to become an Officer of The Order of Canada, which is the highest civilian honour available in the country, and in 2008 he was promoted to Companion. In 2002 he was presented with the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate citizenship. This was the first time the award was given outside of the United States. Munk was also inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame, and was made honorary member of the board of the Jewish National Fund in Toronto. Munk’s name was given to a multi-disciplinary academic centre at the University of Toronto called the Munk School of Global Affairs. Munk partially funded the centre with an US$80 million grant. He also received several honorary doctorates from:
- Bishop’s University in Quebec, Canada - Corcordia University in Montreal, Canada - Upsala College in New Jersey, United States - Technion Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel - And a Doctor of Sacred Letters from Trinity College at the University of Toronto in Canada shared with his wife Melanie Munk.
Previous places of work/roles held:
Owner – Clairtone; Owner – Southern Pacific Hotel Corporation;
Peter Munk was born in 1927 in Budapest, Hungary. His mother and father were affluent Jewish people. In 1944 Nazi Germany invaded Hungary - at this time Munk was a teenager. He fled to safety with his parents on a train that carried them to the relative safety of Switzerland. The train was arranged by the Zionist Aid and Rescue Committee through negotiations with Adolf Eichman, a senior SS officer who allowed wealthy Jews to leave Hungary in exchange of money, diamonds or gold. In later years Munk enrolled at the University of Toronto in Canada and graduated in 1952 with a degree in electrical engineering.
Peter Munk and his business partner David Gilmour founded Clairtone in 1958. They were backed by Frank Sobey. Clairtone was a high-en console stereo manufacturer that later also started producing televisions. Munk’s next venture was investing in a hotel after moving to Fiji. This investment eventually consisted of 54 resorts became the South Pacific Hotel Corporation. In 1979 Munk returned to Canada where he was the founder and CEO of Trizec Properties. He also launched Barrick Gold, known today as the world’s biggest gold mining company.
In 1956 Peter Munk married his first wife, Linda Joy Gutterson. Gutterson’s father was a wealthy entrepreneur who was the first person to back Munk. The couple were married in 1956 and had three children. Although they were divorced in 1970 they stayed on good terms. Munk was married again in 1973, to Melanie Jane Bosanquet – he had two children from this marriage. One of Bosanquet’s cousins was the Olympic skier Charles Palmer-Tomkinson and Munk skied for over 70 years. The couple live in a ski chalet in Switzerland which they regard as home. Munk’s children are Anthony, Nina, Marc-David, Natalie and Cheyne.