Former surgeon general and pediatric surgeon Charles Everett Koop died at the age of 96 on Monday. Koop is best known for his work with AIDS when the pandemic first broke out, as well as his fight against smoking. Here’s what you need to know about the renowned surgeon, C. Everett Koop.
1. C. Everett Koop Died in His Home in Hanover, New Hampshire at 96
C. Everett Koop died in his home in Hanover, New Hampshire at the age of 96, officials at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth said on Monday. Dartmouth President Carol L. Folt issued a statement about his passing:
“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,” Folt said. “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.”
2. A Cause of Death Was Not Disclosed
A spokesperson at the C. Everett Koop Institute at Dartmouth confirmed his death, but a cause was not disclosed. However, it was reported that Koops died peacefully.
3. He Was a Pediatric Surgeon
For 35 years, Koop was surgeon-in-chief at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia from 1946 to 1981. There, he established the first neonatal surgical intensive care unit in 1956 and helped established the biliary atresia program. The surgeon performed groundbreaking procedures on conjoined twins and gained international recognition in 1957 by separating two infants conjoined at the buttocks and again in 1974 when he separated twins conjoined at the spine.
4. And a Surgeon General
Koop served as surgeon general from 1982 to 1989 during the Reagan administration and early months of the George H.W. Bush administration. A surgeon general is the head of a public health service, commissioned by the government and entrusted with public health responsibilities.
5. He Went to Dartmouth and Cornell
Koop received his A.B. degree from Dartmouth College in 1937 and his MD degree from Cornell Medical College in 1941.
6. Koop is Best Remembered for his 1986 Report on AIDS
C. Everett Koop became a surgeon general the year the AIDS pandemic began and is best remembered for his 1986 report on the outbreak. His official report on AIDS was a 36-page document that informed the public of the dangers of the disease and how it was spread. The report advocated for condom use for the sexually active. An eight-page version of the report was mailed to every American household in 1988 as the largest public health mailing ever.
7. He is Also Known for His Fight Against Smoking
The surgeon is also known for the mark he made on the fight against smoking. In another report in 1986, Koop alerted the public about the dangers of second-hand smoke.
8. Koop Was Once the Second-Most Recognized Public Official in the U.S.
Though people under the age of 35 today may not know his name, C. Everett Koop was one of the most recognized public official’s in the U.S. at one point during his career.
9. He Became One of the First High-Profile Doctors With an Online Presence
His website, DrKoop.com, was launched in 1997 and Koop became one of the first doctors to establish an online presence. The site was intended to provide reliable health information to the public, but unfortunately went bankrupt in 2001.
10. He Was Called Chick By His Friends
Koop briefly played football at Dartmouth college where he acquired his lifelong nickname Chick.