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Surgeon General C. Everett Koop

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leatherman:
Oct. 14, 1916 - Feb. 25, 2013

--- Quote ---By David Brown / The Washington Post
C. Everett Koop, the former surgeon general of the United States who started the government's public discussion of AIDS during the Reagan administration, died Monday at his home in Hanover, N.H. He was 96.
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Dr. Koop was the most recognized surgeon general of the 20th century. He almost always appeared in the epauleted and ribboned blue or white uniform denoting his leadership of the commissioned corps of the U.S. Public Health Service. With his mustacheless beard, deep voice and grim expression, he looked like a Civil War admiral.
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A 64-year-old retired pediatric surgeon at the time Ronald Reagan nominated him in 1981, Dr. Koop had no formal public-health training. His chief credential was that he was a socially conservative, devout Christian physician who had written a popular treatise against abortion. His confirmation took eight months. Few people expected him to talk about homosexuality, condoms and intravenous drug use when almost nobody else in the Reagan administration would even utter the word "AIDS."

Dr. Koop, however, believed information was the most useful weapon against the AIDS virus at a time when there was little treatment for the infection and widespread fear that it might soon threaten the general population. In May 1988, he mailed a seven-page brochure, "Understanding AIDS," to all 107 million households in the country.
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"Most of us thought that a huge part of how the crisis grew exponentially was that those in power chose to ignore it for as long as they could," recalled Peter Staley, a founding member of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power. "He was the only person in that administration who spoke the truth when it came to AIDS."

--- End quote ---
Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/obituaries/obituary-c-everett-koop-governments-face-in-the-aids-fight-as-surgeon-general-676891/#ixzz2LytxyelL

Somewhere packed away in my stuff, I still have that booklet that SG Kopp sent out to all of America. What an amazing and powerful piece of literature (http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/QQBDRL.pdf) that was at that time.

RIP C. Everett Koop

Ann:

--- Quote from: leatherman on February 26, 2013, 12:52:37 AM ---

--- Quote ---In May 1988, he mailed a seven-page brochure, "Understanding AIDS," to all 107 million households in the country.
--- End quote ---

Somewhere packed away in my stuff, I still have that booklet that SG Kopp sent out to all of America. What an amazing and powerful piece of literature (http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/access/QQBDRL.pdf) that was at that time.


--- End quote ---

Hmm.... I really don't remember getting one of those in the mail. Our daughter had just turned one (April 30th) - and we went to England for the entire month of May so her English grandparents could meet her. (We were living in Poughkeepsie at the time.)

We had someone collecting our mail for us (as we had a road-side mailbox) and I have to wonder if she didn't toss it out as "junk mail", thinking (as so many at the time did) that it didn't apply to us. I know if we received it, I most definitely would have read it and remembered it. :-\

What I do remember though, is that SG Koop was one of the only persons in government who spoke up and it was pretty amazing at the time, considering his conservative background.

Too bad it took so long for anyone else to follow his lead. Some aren't even following his lead all these years later.

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