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Stuart McLean (1948 - 2017)

Getty / Toronto Star / Reg Innell

Stuart McLean (1948 - 2017)

Stuart McLean, an award-winning Canadian humorist and host of CBC Radio's "The Vinyl Cafe," died Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Toronto, Ontario, according to multiple news sources. He was 68.

McLean had skin cancer.

A message on the show's official website said a public tribute to McLean is pending.

"Stuart always emphasized that the world is a good place, full of good people, trying to do their best," the statement reads in part. "He believed in people’s extraordinary capacity for love and generosity. And he had faith in our ability to work together for the common good. 

"He was, in other words, firmly committed to celebrating the positive, joyful and funny side of life. Stuart assured us that even in difficult times, we can find things to be grateful for and ways to laugh. Now that he is gone, we will try hard to do just that."

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Andrew Stuart McLean was born April 19, 1948, in Montreal, Canada. After graduating from Sir George Williams University, he began his longtime career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., first as a researcher for a program titled "Cross Country Checkup." In the 1970s and '80s, he prepared documentary programs for the CBC.

During the 1980s and '90s, McLean wrote and produced human interest features for the "Morningside" show that focused on everyday people doing extraordinary things. His first book, "The Morningside World of Stuart McLean," was a collection of stories that he presented on the program. 

In 1994, McLean presented "The Vinyl Cafe" for the summer. The title is a reference to a fictional record shop run by the proprietor named Dave. His activities and experiences with friends and family proved popular among listeners of the hourlong Sunday radio variety program. He wrote a number of books based on the show including "Vinyl Cafe Unplugged" (2001), "Vinyl Cafe Diaries" (2003); Secrets From the Vinyl Cafe" (2006); and "Dave Cooks the Turkey" (2006), which drew from a favorite holiday skit about Dave's culinary mishaps.

Four years later, McLean performed "The Vinyl Cafe" shows on tour in venues across Canada and the U.S. The touring stopped in 2015, however, following McLean's melanoma diagnosis.

McLean was also noted for his charitable work, most notably with Camp Kanawana, a summer camp that empowers children and teenagers to "learn to care for themselves, each other and the environment," according to "The Vinyl Cafe" website.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and other fans of McLean took to social media to express their condolences.

"On the Vinyl Cafe and in communities across the country, Stuart McLean told uniquely Canadian stories," Trudeau tweeted. "We'll miss his humour and humanity."

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