Oliver Sacks, the famed neurologist and author who was called the “poet laureate of medicine” died in his New York City home on Sunday. He was 82.
Sacks revealed he had terminal cancer in February and had been writing about his experience for the New York Times.
“It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me,” he wrote then.
Oliver Sacks was both a path-breaking researcher and a bestselling author, who had a gift for explaining how we perceive the world around us.
The act of writing, when it goes well, gives me a pleasure, a joy, unlike any other. It takes me to another place — regardless of my subject — where I am totally absorbed and oblivious to distracting thoughts, worries, preoccupations, or indeed the passage of time.
Often drawing on his own experience with patients, Sacks penned more than a dozen books that sold millions of copies. “The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat,” published in 1985, was one of his best sellers.
“We see with the eyes, but we see with the brain as well,” he said in his 2009 TED talk. “And seeing with the brain is often called imagination.”
Sacks grew up in England, went to medical school in California, and practiced in New York.
His final book, the memoir “On the Move,” was published earlier this year.