Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, RIP

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop dies at age 96

Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, a pediatric surgeon turned public health advocate, died Monday. He was 96.

Koop served as surgeon general from 1982 to 1989, under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

He was outspoken on controversial public health issues and did much to raise the profile the office of the surgeon general.

He died peacefully at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth College said in a news release announcing his death.

“Dr. Koop did more than take care of his individual patients — he taught all of us about critical health issues that affect our larger society,” said Dartmouth President Carol L. Folt. “Through that knowledge, he empowered each of us to improve our own well-being and quality of life. Dr. Koop’s commitment to education allowed him to do something most physicians can only dream of: improving the health of millions of people worldwide.”

Koop, called “Chick” by his friends, was perhaps best known for his work around HIV/AIDS. He wrote a brochure about the disease that was sent to 107 million households in the United States in 1988. It was the largest public health mailing ever, according to a biography of Koop on a website of the surgeon general.

When Koop was first nominated he was strongly opposed by the left who feared his was a religious ideologue. But in office he proved to be a man who put science first. At a time when AIDS was virtually a taboo subject among politicians and the religious right advocated teaching “abstinence only”, Koop went rogue and came out bluntly in favor of sex education and condom use. He also refused to endorse a report released in his name that warned of long-term health consequences of abortion.

He is arguably the most famous Surgeon General in history. May he rest in peace.

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23 Responses to Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, RIP

  1. wmcb says:

    OT, but OFA is up to its usual tricks. Lots and lots of fake Twitter accounts bombarding lawmakers urging gun control. Curiously, many of these accounts were created out of the blue, have no previous tweets, and were “followed” by an OFA staffer before they had ever tweeted even one tweet.

    • myiq2xu says:

      I could use a job like that. Obama’s Troll Army.

    • DandyTiger says:

      Serious question though. Why? Obama isn’t running again. Why do they care, and what do the want to accomplish. Let’s say they can push a gun-control measure through, or a few other things. Why? Who cares? I mean, it’s not like they really have principles are care about anything. I don’t get it.

      • erica says:

        I’ve been wondering that, too. What’s behind this big push? I get a weird feeling with Obama that he’s gearing up to take over the country, for good. I’ve never had that feeling with any other president. I know I’m getting close to tin foil couture, but it would explain this. Of course, friends of mine would say he just cares about gun violence, but he always has an Obama-serving agenda.

        • Constance says:

          “What’s behind the big push?”
          I think it is all Obama knows, this is how a narcissist acts. Constant campaigning for whatever, always the drama king. And clearly Barry and Michelle want to be the Democrat party leaders, “great thinkers” and king makers for many years after they are out of office. That means they need to surpass the Clintons.

    • Mary says:

      They’re capable of anything. No morality or decency required.
      We all learned that in 2008, and nothing has changed.

  2. myiq2xu says:

    Creepy Old Perv:

    • Constance says:

      She handled herself well at the awards but I still would have loved to see her pick herself up from the stair fall, pull off her heels and throw them and then rip about a foot off the bottom of the dress that tripped her and toss it aside then go up and accept her award.

  3. wmcb says:

    Bonus question: If the dept that the Obama administration claims will be adversely affected if its 20 million budget is cut to 18 million no longer exists, then where the hell has the 20 million currently in the budget for it been going?

    Does anyone on Capitol Hill have even a nominal clue where all the money goes, like, at all?

    Don’t answer that.

  4. wmcb says:

    My friend on facebook today:

    Why hasn’t Michael J. Fox put out a Harlem Shake video? #goingtohell

  5. wmcb says:

    Today I thought of my mom, getting so frustrated with my grandmother whenever she rolled out her inevitable phrase “Wellll, I just feel in my heart that [my desired outcome ought to simply be so.]” She usually did this upon losing a rational argument.

    Mama’s mantra: “I don’t want to hear about what you feel in your heart. Tell me about what you *think* in your head.” And thus I learned to ponder and examine and dissect. I could take any position I wanted on any subject, but I’d damn well better be able to defend it without resorting to emotional copouts.

    She used to call it “mental tennis.” And no, it wasn’t cruel – she made it fun. Thanks, Mama. I miss her.

  6. myiq2xu says:

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