Charles Templeton
Born Charles Bradley Templeton
(1915-10-07)October 7, 1915
Toronto, Canada[1]
Died June 7, 2001(2001-06-07) (aged 85)
Toronto, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Education Parkdale Collegiate Institute[1]
Occupation Communications
Religious beliefs None (Agnostic)[1]
Spouse Constance Oroczy 1939–1957
Sylvia Murphy 1959–,
Madeleine Helen Stevens Leger 1980–2001[1]
Children Michael, Deborah, Bradley and Tyrone Templeton[1]

Charles Bradley Templeton (October 7, 1915 – June 7, 2001) was a Canadian cartoonist, evangelist, agnostic, politician, newspaper editor, inventor, broadcaster and author. He was born and died in the same city, Toronto, Canada. His early education was at Parkdale Collegiate Institute.[1]


At age 17, during the Great Depression, Chuck Templeton (as he was then known) got his first job as a sports cartoonist for The Globe and Mail.

Christian evangelist

In 1936, Templeton converted to Christianity and became an evangelist. In 1941, Templeton founded the Avenue Road Church of the Nazarene, in Toronto, in a building that formerly housed a Presbyterian congregation, where he served as senior pastor despite his lack of formal theological training. The Avenue Road Church of the Nazarene congregation eventually became affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, and its name was changed to Bayview Glen Church.

Youth for Christ International

In 1945 Templeton and Torrey Johnson of Chicago, Illinois met with a number of youth leaders from around the United States at Winona Lake, Indiana. Their agenda was to form a working group that would become an organization known as Youth for Christ which was born in 1946. Torrey Johnson was elected as its first president and Billy Graham was hired as the first full-time evangelist. Shortly afterward, Graham and Templeton made an evangelistic tour of western Europe, frequently rooming together, and holding crusades in England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and other countries.


At one time the United Church of Canada heartily endorsed Templeton's evangelism, but came to feel a degree of discomfort with mass evangelistic crusades as its own evangelical Protestantism began to settle into a theologically and socially more liberal stream. In 1948, Templeton attended Princeton Theological Seminary. Templeton hosted a weekly religious television show on CBS, Look Up and Live, in the early 1950s. In 1957, after a long struggle with doubt, Templeton declared himself an agnostic. His public pronouncement of his loss of faith caused a backlash from the evangelical community.[2]


Returning to Canada, Templeton became a broadcaster hosting public affairs programming on CBC Television. In the 1960s he was hired as editorial page editor of The Toronto Star and then made a leap into politics running for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party in 1964 placing second to Andy Thompson at the 1964 leadership convention. During the campaign Templeton ran in a Toronto by-election in an attempt to strengthen his campaign for leader by winning a seat in the Ontario legislature but he was defeated by NDP candidate Jim Renwick.[3]

Thompson resigned as Liberal leader in November 1966 and Templeton was suggested as his possible successor by interim leader Robert Nixon. However, Elmer Sopha, who had been the only member of caucus to support Templeton in 1964, came out publicly and vociferously against this option. Templeton announced he would not again be a candidate for the Liberal leadership because of the opposition of members of the party caucus. Nixon was acclaimed party leader in January 1967.

Media career

He won an ACTRA Award for "integrity and outspokeness in broadcasting."[1]


Following his unsuccessful political career, Templeton tried his hand as an advertising executive before returning to journalism first as editor of Maclean's Magazine and then as a newscaster for CTV. During his tenure at CTV News, Templeton mentored many of the next generation of news executives who led local network affiliates to ratings dominance, such as Ted Stuebing and Wayne Dayton.

Broadcast commentator

Templeton began a long time collaboration with Pierre Berton co-hosting a daily radio show in which the two would debate the issues of the day. Dialogue would be on the air for 18 years starting on CFRB in 1966 and then moving to CKEY in 1970 where Templeton was also hired as the morning newscaster.


Templeton's first novel, a thriller entitled The Kidnapping of the President, was made into a feature film; Act of God, The Third Temptation and The Queen's Secret were among his other bestselling novels. He also wrote Jesus: A Bible in Modern English (1973) which is a selection of sayings by Jesus. In 1982, he wrote his Anecdotal Memoir,[4] which includes this description of Reverend Billy Graham: "there is no feigning in him: he believes what he believes with an invincible innocence. He is the only mass evangelist I would trust."[5] In 1995, Templeton described his eventual rejection of his faith in his final published work, Farewell to God : my reasons for rejecting the Christian faith.[6] He was interviewed by Lee Strobel in Strobel's book The Case for Faith.

  • Evangelism for Tomorrow (1955)
  • Life Looks Up (1957)
  • Jesus (1973)
  • The Kidnapping of the President (1975) Film (1980)
  • Act of God (1977)
  • The Third Temptation (1980)
  • An Anecdotal Memoir (1983)
  • The Queen's Secret (1986)
  • World of One (1988)
  • Succeeding (1989)
  • End Back Attacks (1992)
  • Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith (1995)


Templeton was the father (with Sylvia Murphy) of four children: Ty Templeton, a well-known comic book artist; Brad Templeton, founder of ClariNet Communications; Deborah Burgess, a TV host and director, and Michael Templeton, a tax attorney.[7] He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in the latter part of the 1990s and died from complications of the disease in 2001.[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 DOWNEY, DONN (June 8, 2001). "Canada's man of many parts". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 3, 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brad Templeton. "Obituary: Charles Templeton (1915–2001)". Retrieved October 12, 2009. 
  3. "Riverdale and Windsor: 1–2 punch at Liberals". The Toronto Daily Star (Toronto): p. 1. September 11, 1964. 
  4. Templeton, Charles (1983). Charles Templeton, an anecdotal memoir. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart. OCLC 11158533. Retrieved February 13, 2010. 
  5. "Inside Evangelism - Touring with Billy Graham (Templeton Memoir)". Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  6. "''Charles Templeton (1915–2001)''". Retrieved July 16, 2013. 
  7. Michael D. Templeton McMillan

External links

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