|Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop dies|
|Written by Eric Tiansay|
|Tuesday, 26 February 2013 12:09 PM EST|
Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, who worked with noted Christian author Francis Schaeffer on a pro-life book and video series, died Monday, Feb. 25, at his home in Hanover, N.H. Koop, who had been ill for several months and suffered kidney failure, was 96, Reuters reported.
Known for his trademark bowties, suspenders and gray beard, Koop served as surgeon general from November 1981 until October 1989, taking hard and sometimes controversial stands on abortion, AIDS, fatty foods, drugs and cigarettes—calling for warning labels on all tobacco packaging. Known as "America's Family Doctor," he was one of the most recognizable figures in the Reagan administration, spotlighting a formerly obscure government position, Reuters reported.
A devout Presbyterian, Koop also co-wrote Whatever Happened to the Human Race? (Crossway, 1983) with Schaeffer. The book, which analyzed the impact of abortion, infanticide and euthanasia, was turned into a highly regarded DVD series with the same title and released by Vision Video.
Koop was also the co-founder, along with the late Harold O.J. Brown, of the Christian Action Council, renamed Care Net, which now supports a network of pregnancy resource centers.
Koop's death was announced by Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine, where he founded the C. Everett Koop Institute. He was only 16 when he entered Dartmouth and later graduated from Cornell Medical College.
"Dr. Koop was not only a pioneering pediatric surgeon but also one of the most courageous and passionate public health advocates of the past century," said Wiley Souba, dean of the school. "He did not back down from deeply rooted health challenges or powerful interests that stood in the way of needed change. Instead, he fought, he educated and he transformed lives for the better."
In September 1995, President Bill Clinton awarded Koop the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award. Koop is survived by his wife, Cora, three children and eight grandchildren. His first wife of 69 years, Elizabeth, died in 2007.