C. Everett Koop, who raised the profile of the nation’s surgeon general by speaking frankly about AIDS and the dangers of smoking, has died at his home in Hanover.
Before Koop took the position, the surgeon general was low profile. But Koop raised the impact of the job for seven years during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush presidencies.
Koop endorsed condoms and sex education to stop the spread of AIDS, a disease that was identified the same year he was nominated, in 1981.
In 1992, Koop returned to Dartmouth where he established an institute dedicated to critical health care issues.
In 2002, he testified by telephone at a Vermont Senate committee about a plan to increase the cigarette tax.
He told the legislators then that they would be smart to increase the cigarette tax. Otherwise, he said they would pay for the cost of health problems for young people as years passed.
C. Everett Koop was 96.