Veteran Canadian broadcaster, author and world-famous futurist Frank Ogden passed away December 28, 2012 in a seniors’ residence in Maple Ridge B.C. He was 92.
Better known as Dr. Tomorrow, and presenting himself with that name and a full colour image of his brain scan on his business card, Ogden led, launched and participated in many high-tech, computer-based and digital media projects, often working only from his high-tech houseboat in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour, from where he was wired to the world by computer, phone, cable and phone modems, satellite and infra-red transmission platforms.
Ogden’s many prognostications were laid down in his speeches, books and other media properties, such as the very early use of CD-ROMs distributed with one book, entitled The Last Book You Will Ever Read.
He predicted the rise of ‘’virtual sex’’, or "cyber-sex" for example, in writings more than 20 years ago.
In another publication, called Dispatches from Cyberspace and released in 1997, he confidently spoke of a ‘”billion channel universe” enabled by “pioneers on the Internet”.
Ogden, in typically futuristic anticipation, also wrote of “the Rogers wave” and the expected media power contained in that cable company's small black set-top box.
An in-demand celebrity speaker on the conference circuit, he once keynoted the then-Canadian Association of Broadcaster’s Annual Conference in B.C., during which he both outlined the electronic and information revolutions of the coming decades, and befriended and hosted a young trade magazine writer on his houseboat.
Known for many other outrageous predictions, Ogden may have been influenced by his friendship with LSD guru Dr. Timothy Leary, and their reported chemical experiments together.
Despite such cosmic travels, Ogden was no stranger to the Canadian scene – political, broadcast or otherwise: he was manager of Montreal radio station CKGM during the height of the FLQ crisis, and for two years he hosted the daily syndicated radio series Dr Tomorrow...Today.
Born in 1920, Ogden was educated in Canada and the United States and served as a flight engineer during World War II. He worked in aeronautics for several years, and then during the 1960s, he joined a U.S. medical team researching the effects of hallucinogenics, like LSD.
In 1979, he began monitoring the media scene and new developments in information technology, using some 200 satellites and 2,000 data banks to provide a video clipping service for forward thinkers wanting information on new and relevant business developments.
He also taught at the Ontario College of Art and the New England School of Art, and was a founding member of the World Future Society in Canada.
Ogden was predeceased by his wife Carol Baker, a travel writer and educator.
with reports from Lee Rickwood, Dick Drew and Dr. Tomorrow