Paul Henderson - Personal Life

Personal Life

Henderson and his wife Eleanor have three daughters: Heather, Jennifer and Jill. The family remained in Birmingham for a time following his retirement as a player. He had an opportunity to become a colour commentator for Maple Leafs broadcasts in 1981, however Ballard, still upset that Henderson had defected to the WHA, prevented his hiring. In Birmingham, he became a stockbroker, briefly joining brokerage firm E. F. Hutton. However, he was unable to get a work permit in the United States, despite a petition signed by thousands of Birmingham residents who fought for him to stay.

Following the high of the 1972 Summit Series and the personal lows that came after, Henderson struggled with a sense of discontentment. He turned to religion, becoming a born again Christian in 1975. Unable to work as broker, Henderson entered the seminary and studied to become a minister. When he finally gave up his efforts to acquire an American work visa in 1984, he returned to Toronto. He joined Campus Crusade for Christ, traveling across Canada giving talks and speeches, particularly to businessmen. He received an honourary degree from Tyndale University College and Seminary in 2007.

Henderson is also a published author. His autobiography, Shooting for Glory, was released in 1992. With Jim Prime, he co-authored the 2011 book How Hockey Explains Canada, an exploration of the relationship between the sport and Canadian culture. He released a memoir in 2012 called The Goal of My Life with Roger Lajoie.

The death of his father due to heart problems at the age of 49 had a lasting effect on Henderson. He became health-conscious, an attitude which saved his life in 2004 when a blockage in his own heart was discovered. He was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia in 2009. The disease prevented him from attending 40th anniversary celebrations of the Summit Series in Moscow.

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