Let's Be Real: C. Everett Koop

12:00 AM, Feb 26, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- You remember the beard, the hair, the funky bow ties, and of course that uniform.

C. Everett Koop transformed the surgeon general into America's trusted family doctor, a beloved health crusader, which is pretty interesting since liberals hated Koop so much when President Reagan first appointed him 1981.

He was pediatric surgeon you see and staunchly pro-life, and they worried that maybe he was some kind of radical. 

Turns out Koop was a radical but only when it came to standing up for Americans' health. In 1984, he shocked the mighty tobacco lobby with a scathing report calling nicotine as addictive as heroin. And when the AIDs crisis hit Koop sent every American household a graphic pamphlet explaining exactly how the disease is transmitted and even advising condom use.

Some on the right were enraged but Koop was far more concerned about saving lives. 

So while the beard and bow ties were memorable, what I recall most of C. Everett Koop is that he was a doctor in a political job, who never forgot which of those vocations was more important. 

Most Watched Videos