Michel Garneau was born on April 25, 1939, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the youngest of a large, bourgeois and cultural family with many children. He is the son of Germaine (d'Amour) Garneau and Antonio Garneau, a judge of the High Court of Quebec. Educated in strict Jesuit schools, Gameau’s adolescent years were tragically sundered by the suicide of his brother, the poet Sylvain Garneau, in 1953. He then left his formal schooling behind to embark on a career in performance and radio.