Neurologist And Author ‘Oliver Sacks’ Dead At 82

Neurologist And Author ‘Oliver Sacks’ Dead At 82
Oliver SacksLuigi Novi / Wikimedia Commons CC BY-sa/3.0
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Neurologist and acclaimed author Oliver Sacks known for the book “Awakenings” that became an Oscar nominated film has passed away in his home in Manhattan on Sunday. He was 82. He had reportedly succumbed to cancer.

Earlier in February, Dr. Sacks had penned an Op-Ed essay in The New York Times where he talked about being in the latest stages of terminal cancer. Moreover, he had also admitted that an earlier tumor or melanoma in his eye from nine years ago had already spread to about a third of his liver.


Dr. Sacks served as Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at the Columbia University Medical Center from 2007 to 2012. He was also named the first Columbia University Artist. After this, he moved to the NYU School of Medicine where he became a professor of neurology. He practiced in the NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. At the same time, he was a visiting professor at the University of Warwick.

His books like “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” and “An Anthropologist on Mars” had shed light on what it’s like to live with conditions such as autism, epilepsy, Tourette’s syndrome, musical hallucination, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, phantom limb syndrome, retardation and parkinsonism. Meanwhile, his book “Awakenings” about survivors of encephalitic lethargica became an inspiration for a film of the same name that starred Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, who played the role of Dr. Sacks. The film “Awakenings” got nominated for an Oscar.

Moreover, Dr. Sacks also delved into the world of people who are deaf and colorblind. Everything he had learned served as an inspiration for his books “Seeing Voices” and “The Island of the Colorblind.” In addition, Dr. Sacks had also documented his experiences as a doctor in “Migraine” and also wrote about his experiences as a patient in “A Leg to Stand On.”

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Prior to finding out about his tumor metastasizing, Dr. Sacks had said that he felt like he was absolutely in good health. However, upon learning his condition, he refused to be bitter about it. He said, “It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can.” He took pride in the fact that he has already published five books as well as an autobiography that will soon be published. He also said he was almost done with a number of other books.