Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop dies at 96

Mon Feb 25, 2013 6:37pm EST

C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general of the United States speaks at the closing ceremonies of the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Chicago, August 11, 2000.

C. Everett Koop, former surgeon general of the United States speaks at the closing ceremonies of the World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Chicago, August 11, 2000.

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(Reuters) - Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, a pediatric surgeon known for his anti-smoking campaigns and efforts to improve diet and nutrition, died at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire, on Monday. He was 96 years old.

Koop served as Surgeon General from November 1981 until October 1989, taking stern and sometimes controversial stands on abortion, AIDS, fatty foods, drugs and cigarettes. In the process, he became one of the most recognizable figures in the Reagan administration, elevating a formerly obscure government position.

His death was announced by Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine, where he founded the C. Everett Koop Institute.

The surgeon general, who is the leading U.S. spokesman on public health matters and a presidential adviser, is the head of the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. Candidates are nominated by the president and must be confirmed by the Senate.

Koop enraged the powerful tobacco industry with his insistence that smoking kills and should be banned.

He spearheaded the drive to make education about AIDS the primary means of preventing the disease, writing a brochure about AIDS that was distributed to millions of American households.

"He saved countless lives through his leadership in confronting the public health crisis that came to be known as AIDS and standing up to powerful special interests like the tobacco companies," U.S. Representative Henry Waxman, a California Democrat, said on Monday.

(Reporting by Paul Thomasch and Corrie MacLaggan; editing by Christopher Wilson and Jackie Frank)

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Comments (3)
Harry079 wrote:
I really liked this guy. He looked like a Medical Uncle Sam. Too bad he flew the Coop at the young age of 96.

Feb 25, 2013 7:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JamesWilson wrote:
This was a good person, a great doctor, and an even greater surgeon. He developed many operating methods for children still used today and every day. He stood firm against tobacco, and abortion. He did more to advance the rights of “handicapped” children than any person I can think of. He had a long life of doing good acts; he lived his oath and saved many children from a life of suffering. There are only a few men of his era of whom we can say such great things.

I read that every year he supported the work of Focus Adolescent Services, to save the children of America. He gave to help them in many ways.

I wonder if he said ” I’m dead and I can’t get up.” I mean to harm by that. If it offends I am sorry. If we all did just half the good he did in his life imagine how wonderful our nation would be.

Feb 25, 2013 8:37pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JamesWilson wrote:
This was a good person, a great doctor, and an even greater surgeon. He developed many operating methods for children still used today and every day. He stood firm against tobacco, and abortion. He did more to advance the rights of “handicapped” children than any person I can think of. He had a long life of doing good acts; he lived his oath and saved many children from a life of suffering. There are only a few men of his era of whom we can say such great things.

I read that every year he supported the work of Focus Adolescent Services, to save the children of America. He gave to help them in many ways.

I wonder if he said ” I’m dead and I can’t get up.” I mean to harm by that. If it offends I am sorry. If we all did just half the good he did in his life imagine how wonderful our nation would be.

Feb 25, 2013 8:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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