Tony Cointreau, a member of the French liqueur Cointreau family, was born into a life of wealth and privilege, growing up among the rich and famous. His maternal grandmother was an opera star, and Tony’s own voice led him to a successful international singing career. His paternal heritage put him on the Cointreau board of directors. But he felt a need for something more meaningful in his lifeand his heart led him to Calcutta and Mother Teresa.
Tony’s childhood experiencesan emotionally remote mother; a Swiss nanny who constantly told him, “Mother only loves you when you’re perfect;” an angry, bullying older brother; and a sexually predatory fourth-grade schoolteacherconvinced him that the only way to be loved is to be perfect. He set out on a lifelong quest for a loving mother figure and unconditional love, and he found it with Mother Teresa and her work. She became another mother for him, as he describes in his memoir, Ethel Merman, Mother Teresa... and Me.
Tony volunteered in Mother Teresa’s hospices for twelve years, learning to give unconditional love, and helping more than one hundred people while they were dying.