Born in 1944 in Budapest, Hungary, Gabor Maté moved to Canada with his family during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. He graduated from Kitsilano Secondary School in Vancouver, British Columbia, and subsequently earned a B.A. in English from the University of British Columbia and a teaching degree from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC. In his late twenties he was working as a Grade 11 history teacher in North Vancouver, BC when, heeding an inner call that had been with him since childhood, he decided to return to school to pursue a career as a doctor.
Dr. Maté ran a popular family practice in East Vancouver for two decades. For seven years he also served as Medical Co-ordinator of the Palliative Care Unit at Vancouver Hospital, caring for the terminally ill. More recently he worked for twelve years in Vancouver’s notorious Downtown Eastside neighbourhood with patients suffering from hardcore drug addiction, mental illness and HIV.
In the 1990s Dr. Maté was a regular medical columnist for the Vancouver Sun and Globe and Mail newspapers. He has also had many articles and columns published on other topics, from political and cultural commentary to book reviews. He has written four books, all Canadian bestsellers, published altogether in nearly twenty languages on five continents.
In 2009 Dr. Maté received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from Simon Fraser University, and has recently been appointed Adjunct Professor in SFU’s School of Criminology. This year (2011) he will receive an Honorary Degree from the University of Northern British Columbia.
Dr. Maté maintains a busy international touring/speaking schedule year-round. He is the father of three adult children and lives in Vancouver with Rae, his wife and better half of 42 years.