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In Memoriam

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: March 2, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

Dr. C. Everett Koop, who raised the profile of the surgeon general by riveting America's attention on the then-emerging disease known as AIDS and by railing against smoking, died in New Hampshire at age 96. The cause wasn't disclosed.

Koop, who was inducted into Modern Healthcare's Health Care Hall of Fame in 1997, used the previously low-profile post of surgeon general as a bully pulpit for seven years during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.

An evangelical Christian, he shocked his conservative supporters when he endorsed condoms and sex education to stop the spread of AIDS.

He carried out a crusade to end smoking in the U.S.—his goal had been to do so by 2000. A former pipe smoker, he said cigarettes were as addictive as heroin and cocaine.

Koop's impact was great, although the surgeon general has no real authority to set government policy. He described himself as “the health conscience of the country.”

—Associated Press


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