He was born in Racine, Wisconsin and raised
in Torrance, California. His mother Araksi, who arrived
in New York from Istanbul in the late 1950s as a nursing
student, was the daughter of an illiterate dairy farmer.
Growing up, she saw her father struggle with a debilitating
limp he developed due to beatings meted out by Turkish
soldiers in the early 1900s, while he was a conscript in
the Ottoman Army.
His father John, who served in Seoul during the Korean War,
was the son of Genocide survivors, who escaped the historical
Armenian homelands of Central Turkey, during the first Genocide
of the 20th Century. During that period, from 1915 to 1923,
between one and two million men, women and children were systematically
massacred by the Ottoman Turks; events that continue to be
routinely denied by the government of Turkey, but officially
recognized in capitals around the world.
Peter has a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism
and Political Science from the University of Southern California
(USC) in Los Angeles; a master’s degree in Political
Science from Baylor University in Waco, Texas; a master’s
degree in Journalism & Public Affairs from the School of
Communication at American University in Washington, D.C.; and
a master’s degree in Management from the School of
Business at the University of Redlands in California.
In the 1980s, Peter worked as a television news reporter and
weekend anchor in Great Falls, Montana; a reporter/videographer
in the Temple, Texas bureau of KWTX-TV; and as a reporter at
Sun World Satellite News, a now-defunct Washington, D.C. television
news service, which sent (by satellite) localized stories from
Capitol Hill to small- and medium-market newsrooms around the
U.S., mostly to Sun Belt states.
Peter’s last job in Washington, D.C.,
was in 1989, as producer of the national interview program, “John
McLaughlin’s One on One,” seen on more than
100 PBS stations across the country.
In the 1990s, Peter worked in the California
office, as district director, for now-retired Congressman
Carlos Moorhead, who represented Glendale, Burbank and
Pasadena. During his six years with the congressman, Peter
had a chance to expand the scope of his volunteerism and
public service. He chaired the Education Subcommittee of
the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, chaired a local American
Heart Association chapter and served on the board of directors
of the Glendale-Crescenta Valley Red Cross. As a Red Cross
volunteer, Peter spent a week in St. Charles, Missouri
during “the Great Floods of 1993,” primarily
filling sandbags and assisting at a Red Cross shelter.
Peter was also an Army Reservist for six
years. In that capacity, in 1992, he received the Army’s
Humanitarian Service Medal for his public-affairs-related
work at Homestead Air Force Base in Florida following Hurricane
From 1997 to 1998, Peter was activated for eight months to
serve as an Army television journalist in Hungary, Croatia
and Bosnia. His one-man-band reports from the region, seen
on American Forces Network throughout the world, earned him
the NATO Medal and an Army Commendation Medal.
Upon returning from Central Europe, Peter
was hired as the Station Manager & Senior Producer
@ BTV6, the government access channel run out of Burbank
City Hall. A decade later, he has received more than 40
industry awards for his work at BTV6. In addition to those
accolades, his news and feature reporting garnered him
two prestigious RTNA Golden Mike Awards. In 2001, he received
a Los Angeles Area Emmy nomination for producing Burbank
Magazine, a quarterly news magazine he created in 1999.
And, in 2007, he received his second such Emmy nomination
for co-producing a public service announcement designed
to help parents prevent children from drowning.
Peter is a member of the RTNA: the Radio & Television
News Association of Southern California; the Los Angeles
Area Academy of Television Arts & Sciences; the American
Film Institute; and the International Documentary Association.
In 1998, Peter married the former Szilvia
Eva Gadanyi, co-founder of Globalist Films.
The couple’s only
child, June Petra, was born on December 5, 2004.