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Australian surfing’s cult hero lived two lives.
In the 1970s ‘MP’ became the best surfer in the world, an electric lash of rockstar looks and rockstar habits, but with a pathological aversion to rockstar fame. But MP died on the night of 10 August 1983, when his schizophrenia caught up with him and his years of institutionalisation began. Emerging from the other side was Michael Peterson, a quiet, complex soul who lived with his mother and sat under a mango tree every morning, communing with the voices in his head.
In 2004 Sean Doherty wrote a bestselling biography of Michael Peterson that laid his incredible story bare. Over the years that followed, and especially after Michael’s death in 2012, hundreds of people – family, friends, surf stars and complete strangers – contacted Doherty with stories never before shared. Stories that spoke of the man, not the legend. Stories of Michael, not MP.
Now Doherty has compiled these stories, anecdotes and tributes, completing the picture of one of surfing’s most talented but tragic figures. Also featuring classic and unseen images of Peterson, along with photographs and letters from his family’s private collection, MP Untold presents Australian surfing’s most fascinating champion in the words of those who knew him best.