Koop, C. Everett

Koop, C. Everett

(Charles Everett Koop), 1916–2013, American physician, U.S. surgeon general (1982–89), b. Brooklyn, N.Y., grad. Dartmouth (B.S., 1937), Cornell Medical College (M.D., 1941), Univ. of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (D.Sc., 1947). In 1948, he became surgeon-in-chief of Children's Hospital, Philadelphia, acquiring a reputation as an innovative pediatric surgeon. He remained there until 1981, when President Reagan nominated him for surgeon general. An evangelical Christian and an opponent of abortion, Koop became involved in the "Baby Doe" case (1982), advocating for the rights of newborns with severe birth defects. In 1984, he launched an antismoking campaign and issued (1986) a landmark report linking smoking and second-hand smoke to cancer, stroke, and other diseases. Largely as a result of his efforts, smoking was restricted in many public places. Koop also played an important role in AIDSAIDS
or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome,
fatal disease caused by a rapidly mutating retrovirus that attacks the immune system and leaves the victim vulnerable to infections, malignancies, and neurological disorders. It was first recognized as a disease in 1981.
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 education; his 1986 report's frank discussion of homosexuality, limited advocacy of condoms, approval of sex education, and lack of moral judgements sparked controversy.

Bibliography

See his autobiography (1991).

Koop, C. (Charles) Everett (“Chick”)

(1916–  ) surgeon, public health official; born in New York City. Surgeon-in-chief of Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, he also taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1948–81). Regarded as a superb pediatric surgeon, his operation separating the Dominican Siamese twins (1974) received international attention. Appointed by President Reagan as Surgeon General of the United States (1981–89), he was at first assumed to be conservative in his views, but proved to be an independent and gradually surprised everyone by his views on such matters as smoking and AIDS. On leaving public office he joined the faculty of Dartmouth College and continued to be much in demand as a speaker on issues of public health.