Born in Shanghai, China and raised in London, England, Gary immigrated to Toronto, Canada, in his late teens. While working as a journalist at the Alcoholism and Drug Research Foundation of Ontario, Canada, he met Peter Vegso. In 1976, they formed a partnership and relocated to Miami, Florida to establish their publishing enterprise: The U. S. Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence (USJ), Health Communications, Inc. (HCI), and The U. S. Journal Training, Inc. (USJT).
On June 28, 1993, their company, Health Communications, Inc., published the first Chicken Soup for the Soul books. By Christmas of that year, the book had become a Christmas favorite. People who bought one book returned to buy five more copies as Christmas gifts. Word of mouth soon led to a groundswell of popularity. The book grew to a series and went on to be become the “publishing phenomenon of the decade” according to TIME magazine. By April of 1994, Chicken Soup for the Soul had made some of the bestseller lists and by September it had hit the bestseller lists of The New York Times, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today, as well as all five major lists in Canada. In 1995, Chicken Soup for the Soul won the prestigious ABBY (American Booksellers’ Book of the Year). He was a co-author of Chicken Soup for the Recovering Soul, published in 2004.
Gary now lives in Beverly Hills, California with his wife, Lana. Together they sponsor an annual summer experience, Camp Hope, for at-risk, inner city kids and their families. Gary has three children: Mandy, Oliver and Robert. His passions include thoroughbred horse racing and his own personal/spiritual recovery.