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 AIDS education; his 1986 report's frank discussion of homosexuality, limited advocacy of condoms, approval of sex education, and lack of moral judgements sparked controversy.

See his autobiography (1991).

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