President Reagan's Surgeon General, Penn prof. dies at 96
C. Everett Koop was President Ronald Reagan's surgeon general and professor of pediatric surgery at Penn Med
February 25, 2013, 11:35 pm·
C. Everett Koop
Former U.S. Surgeon General,
one-time Penn professor
Former U.S. Surgeon General and one-time Penn professor C. Everett Koop died Monday at his home in New Hampshire. He was 96.
Koop was widely known for his role as President Ronald Reagan’s surgeon general from the years of 1981 to 1989. He also served as professor of pediatric surgery at the Medical School in the 1940s, according to J. Nathan Bazzel, director of communications at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
“As a surgeon he both devised and carried out procedures no one had tried out before,” said George Wohlreich, president and CEO of the College of Physicians. Koop’s procedures helped save many lives. He even separated three sets of conjoined twins throughout his long career.
During Koop’s time as surgeon general, he was best known for his campaign against smoking. He also wrote an educational paper during this time about HIV and AIDS, when the disease was first subjected to public controversy.
At a time when others were worried about the social implications of the disease, “[Koop’s] telling Reagan this should be researched, investigated, and the moral issues had nothing to do with the medical,” Wohlreich said.
Koop attended Dartmouth College for his undergraduate education and Cornell University Medical School for his medical training. He served as the surgeon-in-chief of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia before he was chosen as the surgeon general.
Koop is survived by his wife and three children.
“He’s the only surgeon general people know about in this country,” Wohlreich said.
“He was America’s doctor.”
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