RIP, Oliver Sacks

Celebrated neurologist Oliver Sacks died yesterday of cancer, at age 82—a loss for the world that prompted an outpouring of affection and inspiring tributes from his many friends and admirers.

A medical doctor gifted with empathy and a rare scientist with a knack for communicating, his obituary in The New York Times detailed his many accomplishments driven by his deep curiosity about the human condition—and his ability to humanize people suffering from devastating neurological diseases.

The Atlantic celebrated the life of Oliver Sacks with a reading list that captures his “joyful curiosity”—from his 1987 NPR interview with Terry Gross to his piece in the New Yorker detailing his experimentation with drugs and the habit that he managed to replace with writing, to the essay he wrote for The New York Times early this year upon learning he had fallen into the grips of terminal cancer.

For an especially inspired essay on Dr. Sacks’ many gifts, see Maria Popova’s Brainpickings tribute  and her many previous articles.

 

Related: Oliver Sacks, The Doctor – The New Yorker

Related: A View On Oliver Sacks, From A Longtime Friend And Colleague – NPR

 

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