Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop Dead At 96
C. Everett Koop,who served as Surgeon General under both Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, has died:
HANOVER, N.H. — C. Everett Koop, who raised the profile of the nation’s surgeon general by speaking frankly about AIDS and the dangers of smoking, has died in New Hampshire. He was 96.
An assistant at Koop’s Dartmouth institute, Susan Wills, says he died Monday. She hasn’t disclosed his cause of death.
Surgeons general before Koop were low-profile, but Koop operated from a bully pulpit for seven years during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies.
Of course, one reason that Koop attained such a high profile is the fact that he served as Surgeon General during the time when AIDS/HIV first came into public consciousness. More than any other Federal Government official, Koop stood utilized his office as a bully pulpit to educate the public about the disease, and to call for increased use of condoms and sex education, something which earned him the ire of many conservatives at the time. Koop also resisted efforts by some on the right to use his office to propagandize against abortion by claiming that it was detrimental to women’s health. This also earned him the ire of many on the right. Finally, Koop revived the practice of wearing the uniform assigned to the Surgeon General when performing his official duties, a practice that had fallen into disuse over the years. Since then, every Surgeon General has followed this practice.