To some, he was an icon; to others, he was an activist. Many even considered his views and positions rather outlandish during the 80’s.
The truth is Charles Everett Koop, who died on February 25, 2013, was a talented pediatric surgeon determined to make people’s lives better. This may be nothing new for a physician, but what made Dr. Koop unique was his ability to influence public opinion about an array of social and health issues, such as: smoking, HIV, homosexuality and sex education. In 1981, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the post of surgeon general and, for the next seven years, Dr. Koop, with his navy blue uniform and trademark bushy white beard, was a man on a mission – to change public attitudes and policies about major health issues. (more…)