Howard Peter Guber was born on March 1, 1942, in Richardson House, Boston, Massachusetts. His father Samuel owned a junk metal business in Somerville.
The youngest of three boys, Peter grew up in the shadow of his athletic and successful brothers Charlie and Mike.
The Gubers were a close family, according to the 1996 book Hit & Run by Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters. The Gubers had a strong work ethic.
Peter attended Syracuse University with underground musician Lou Reed and future film director Peter Hyams. In 1965, Peter married Lynda Gellis, the daughter of Brooklyn kosher meats magnate Isaac Gellis.
Peter attended New York University law school by day and worked towards an MBA at night. He was recruited by Columbia and moved to Los Angeles in 1968. He got a parking space at the studio's Hollywood lot on Gower Street and Sunset Boulevard.
Over the next eight years, Peter worked his way up Columbia's executive ladder. He was fired in 1976. He went out on his own, producing and merging with Neil Bogart's Casablanca Records. He then ran Polygram's film unit until getting fired in 1982.
He set up Guber-Peters Company at Warner Brothers in 1982. Jon and Peter served as executive producers on Steven Spielberg's 1985 film The Color Purple. Spielberg had a clause written into his contract barring Jon and Peter from coming on his set but that didn't stop the two from taking credit for the film.
Peter separated from his wife Lynda in 1982 for about a year. Peter consulted a lawyer about getting a divorce. The lawyer advised him that it would cost him half of his assets. So Peter decided that day to return home.
In business situations, Guber would blurt out his sexual proclivities in graphic detail to women he barely knew. "Lynda gives Peter what he wants, which is that she runs a good house, she's right in the social stream of things," a friend who's known the couple of decades told Hit & Run. "They are cut from the same cloth. They understood each other. Lynda is a very conniving, manipulative woman and Peter is the same way." (pg. 130)
Peter and Jon would fight almost every day. They went to therapy together. A former Hollywood studio chief told Hit & Run: "Peter in his heart has always wanted to be Jon, and Jon has always wanted to be Peter. Peter is an emotionally locked-up guy who would like to be fucking [television actress] Nicollette Sheridan but can't because he's a nice Jewish boy. And Jon always wanted to be taken seriously." (pg. 132)
Nikki Finke writes in the LA Weekly about Sean Connery's October 9 lawsuit seeking $17 million from Guber personally and his Mandalay Pictures alleging intentional and negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent concealment and breach of oral contract. In court papers, Connery claims that Mandalay and Guber strung him along for two years on a spy-thriller project "in an attempt to hold themselves out to the entertainment industry as a viable production company. Mandalay, however, was nothing more than a house of cards."
Nikki Finke writes: "When his Mandalay produced more bombs than hits, Paramount bailed this summer. It fell to Guber's former protégée and Universal mogulette Stacey Snider to take pity on him and give Mandalay a far-from-lucrative deal where the production company must cover -- oh, the shame of it -- most of its overhead and development costs."