Robert Gardner was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His connection with Larino comes through his wife, Anna Maria Galuppi. Educated in Scotland, East Africa, and Canada, he attended Ryerson Institute of Technology in Toronto where he studied communications. Later, while working as a professional writer and director, he completed a BA and MA in English at McMaster University. His formal education was concluded when he achieved a doctorate in education from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the University of Toronto.
In concert with his studies, Dr. Gardner was a successful writer, director and producer for Canadian television.
In the 1970 he joined Ryerson as a faculty member. In a short time he became the Vice Chair of the School of Radio and Television Arts and - eventually - the Chair of that prominent School. He served Ryerson an unprecedented three terms as Chair and finished his career in 2003 with the title, Professor Emeritus.
In addition to his awards as a writer producer, his teaching was recognized by the Hancock Award, the Ziniuk Award, and in 2007 the Town of Larino presented Dr. Gardner with the Silver Wing, an honour normally only given to citizens of the Town of Larino.
Dr. Gardner normally spends six months of the year with his wife in Larino.