Peter C. Newman, author, journalist, and editor, was born in Vienna, Austria on 10 May 1929 as Peta Neumann to Jewish parents who lived in Czechoslovakia. The family left Breclav just before the Nazi take-over in 1938 and he moved to Canada in 1940 and became a citizen in 1945. He was educated at the University of Toronto. As a journalist he has worked for the Financial Post, Toronto Star and Maclean's magazine. He was editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star from 1969 to 1971 before moving on to Maclean's, transforming it into a weekly news magazine.
After eleven years of running Maclean's, he decided to stay on as senior contributing editor. He has written biographies of Prime Minister John Diefenbaker, the Bronfman family, and a history of the Hudson Bay Company. He often challenged the establishment, while also being a chronicler of it. Including A Nation Divided: Canada and the Coming of Pierre Trudeau (1969), The Establishment Man: Conrad Black, A Portrait of Power (1982), The Secret Mulroney Tapes: Unguarded Confessions of a Prime Minister (2005), and When the Gods Changed: The Death of Liberal Canada (2011). In 2004 he published his autobiography, Here Be Dragons.
He died 7 September 2023 at the age of 94, in Belleville, Ontario, from complications suffered from a stroke the previous year and Parkinson's.