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Environmentalist and Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter died Monday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 63.

"This was a man with a great loving heart, a brilliant mind and a massive spirit," Stephen Hurlbut, vice-president of news programming for CITY-TV, said in a statement.

"Bob Hunter changed our world. It is a sadder world today, but a better world because of him."

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Mr. Hunter, who had suffered from prostate cancer, passed away early Monday morning.

He leaves his wife, Bobbie, and his children, Will, Emily, Conan and Justine.

Mr. Hunter helped found Greenpeace in 1971, eventually winning worldwide recognition for his environmental efforts. He was responsible for adopting the term "Rainbow Warriors" to describe Greenpeace activists. In 2000, Time magazine dubbed him one of the 20th century's 10 top ecoheroes.

Today, Greenpeace boasts 2.5 million members in 40 countries.

"Bob was an inspirational storyteller, an audacious fighter and an unpretentious mystic," Greenpeace Canada chairman John Doherty said in a statement.

"He was serious about saving the world while always maintaining a sense of humour."

Born in Manitoba in 1941, Mr. Hunter was also well known for his work as a journalist, columnist, writer and political candidate.

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In 1991, he won the Governor-General's Award for literature for his book Occupied Canada: A Young White Man Discovers His Unsuspected Past. He was the author of more than a dozen books.

Television viewers knew him as CITY-TV's environmental reporter as well as the host of Paper Cuts on the station's popular Breakfast Television show.

He also hosted Hunter's Gathering on CITY's CP24 news channel.

With a file from Canadian Press
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