Recognizable by his unique beard, Koop was appointed deputy assistant secretary of health in 1981 by former President Ronald Regan. By the end of the year, he was sworn in as surgeon general. In addition to advising the public on immunization, health, diet and nutrition, Koop also took on the touchy subjects of smoking and AIDS. In 1997, Koop created drkoop.com (which is no long associated with him), making him a pioneer in using the Internet to reach larger audiences about health. He also is the author of more than 230 books and was awarded an Emmy in 1991 for a five-part series on healthcare reform.