I learned tonight that Dr. C. Everett Koop died. He was 96.
While I didn’t know him personally, I am still quite sad. A true advocate of improving public health. To me, he seemed to have been the U.S. Surgeon General forever. But, it was actually less than a decade. I think it was his name and the fact he was Surgeon General during the Reagan administration. I liked the initial before the name that reminded me of a mountain. He was very tall, so this seemed quite fitting. I read that his close friends called him “Chick”, I liked that too – it stuck with me.
He apparently wrote over 200 articles and books, but I can’t say I read 10% of them. I may have read 5%. I only know that now, because of the news.
He was probably the most influential surgeon in the United States. He spoke out on abortion, and the addictive qualities of tobacco. He wanted a smoke-free society and talked about the dangers of second-hand smoke, before it was so widely discussed as researched as it is today.
I remember when his wife died, because the news reported the were married for 70 years. That is amazing! There were awards named after him while he was still alive, which is also rare, but well deserved.
RIP Koop. Thank you for your service and mending the world within YOUR reach.