The eldest son of Philip Mervyn and Enid Doris Gratiaen
Born in Kandy, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), in 1933
Educated at Blundell's School in Tiverton, Devon.
Moved to Canada in 1956
Lives in London
Married with three children and 12 grandchildren
A retired businessman, he "lived in Canada for a number of years and
built a highly successful career, first in banking, finance, and then
publishing .. and now administers his own charitable foundation and actively
supports a number of UK organisations."
Christopher Ondaatje is also the author of six books, among them areJourney
to the Source of the Nile and Sindh Revisited.
Interests - adventure, philanthropy and cricket
Patron of Somerset County Cricket Club.
Member of Labour's 'million plus' donors
Given over a million pounds to the Royal Geographical Society and the
National Portrait Gallery, who named a wing of the gallery after him.
Donated $1 million to the Royal Ontario Museum towards the creation of
Canada’s first, permanent South Asian gallery of art, which has been named
He was appointed CBE in 2000 for his charitable work