Veteran Canadian broadcaster, author and evangelist Charles Templeton died Thursday in Toronto at the age of 85 after a battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Templeton was one of Canada's busiest journalists during his remarkable career. From 1932 to 1936, he was as sports cartoonist at the Globe and Mail. Over the years, he also worked for CTV, the CBC, and several Toronto radio stations.

"He was a Renaissance man, really," said friend and colleague Pierre Berton. "He was good at everything he did and went right to the top every time."

Berton and Templeton worked together every morning for 14 years when the two did the radio program Dialogue on CFRB, and then on CKEY from the mid ?s to the 1980s.

Along with his journalistic career, Templeton was also a prominent evangelist. He studied at Princeton Theological Seminary in the late 1940s.

"He was a top evangelist along with Billy Graham," said Berton. "They were great friends. Billy came up to see him this year, when he was sick."

Templeton was managing editor of the Toronto Star from 1959 to 1964. He was vice-president of the Liberal Party of Ontario from 1964 to 1965, and was director of news and public affairs at CTV from 1967 to 1969. He also hosted the network's program "Our World."

He was briefly the editor of Maclean's magazine, and wrote plays that were performed on the CBC, BBC, and the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Incredibly, he also found time to write books, including Life Looks Up (1953), Evangelism for Tomorrow (1954), Jesus His Life (1973) Act of God (1977) and The Queen's Secret (1986).

"We were saddened to hear about Charles Templeton's death," said Douglas Gibson, president and publisher of McClelland and Stewart.

"Charles was known across Canada for his range of accomplishments in many media, but at McClelland & Stewart he was highly regarded as one of our most successful authors, with best-selling novels such as The Kidnapping of the President, 1975," he said in a statement.

Templeton was awarded the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada Medal in 1992. He was also honoured with two ACTRA awards for broadcasting and received the B'nai Brith award in 1967.

Templeton was married three times and had three sons and a daughter.