Oliver Sacks, renowned neurologist who wrote about his cancer, d - KMOV.com

Oliver Sacks, renowned neurologist who wrote about his cancer, dies at 82

Posted: Updated:
Acclaimed author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who wrote about his battle with cancer, died early Sunday, August 30, 2015, his longtime collaborator, Kate Edgar, confirmed. He was 82. Acclaimed author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who wrote about his battle with cancer, died early Sunday, August 30, 2015, his longtime collaborator, Kate Edgar, confirmed. He was 82.

By Holly Yan and Lisa Respers France

CNN's Carma Hassan and Michael Pearson contributed to this report.

(CNN) - Acclaimed author and neurologist Oliver Sacks, who wrote about his battle with cancer, died early Sunday, his longtime collaborator, Kate Edgar, confirmed. He was 82.

Edgar said Sacks died at his home in Greenwich Village with her and his partner, Bill Hayes, at his side.

Sacks was diagnosed with ocular melanoma nine years ago, and treating the cancer left him blind in one eye, he wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times.

But the cancer spread.

"I feel grateful that I have been granted nine years of good health and productivity since the original diagnosis, but now I am face to face with dying," Sacks wrote in February. "The cancer occupies a third of my liver, and though its advance may be slowed, this particular sort of cancer cannot be halted."

The British-born Sacks, who was on the staff of the New York University School of Medicine, is perhaps best known as the inspiration for the doctor portrayed by the late actor Robin Williams in the 1990 film "Awakenings."

The film is based on Sacks' 1973 book of the same name, recounting his experiences treating patients who have long been in a catatonic state after contracting "sleeping sickness."

In his long career, he made a practice of marrying clinical practice with narrative storytelling.

"If we wish to know about a man, we ask 'what is his story -- his real, inmost story?' -- for each of us is a biography, a story," he wrote in his 1985 book, "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat."

"Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us -- through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations," he said. "Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives -- we are each of us unique."

The habit that endeared him to many also brought criticism from some who accused him of being exploitative. Disability advocate Tom Shakespeare once called him "the man who mistook his patients for a literary career."

But news of Sacks' death was met with widespread praise of his life, with fans from all walks of life hailing him and his work as well as sharing many of his memorable quotes.

Edgar said arrangements are still being made for a service for Sacks. Those wishing to honor him are asked to make donations to The Oliver Sacks Foundation which, according to the website, is "devoted to increasing understanding of the human brain and mind through the power of narrative nonfiction and case histories."

  • NationalMore>>

  • In TV interview, Trump says queen called Brexit 'complex'

    In TV interview, Trump says queen called Brexit 'complex'

    Monday, July 16 2018 1:35 AM EDT2018-07-16 05:35:17 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 9:55 AM EDT2018-07-16 13:55:13 GMT
    (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump with Queen Elizabeth II, inspecting the Guard of Honour at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Friday, July 13, 2018.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais). President Donald Trump with Queen Elizabeth II, inspecting the Guard of Honour at Windsor Castle in Windsor, England, Friday, July 13, 2018.
    President Donald Trump has told a British TV interviewer that Queen Elizabeth II told him Brexit it "complex.".More >
    President Donald Trump has told a British TV interviewer that Queen Elizabeth II told him Brexit it "complex.".More >
  • Trump-Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

    Trump-Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

    Monday, July 16 2018 9:33 AM EDT2018-07-16 13:33:38 GMT
    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, makes a statement as U.S. President Donald Trump, left, looks on at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, makes a statement as U.S. President Donald Trump, left, looks on at the beginning of a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    The much-anticipated meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is upon us. 

    More >

    The much-anticipated meeting between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin is upon us. 

    More >
  • What Trump and Putin hope to achieve at Helsinki summit

    What Trump and Putin hope to achieve at Helsinki summit

    Sunday, July 15 2018 5:07 AM EDT2018-07-15 09:07:28 GMT
    Monday, July 16 2018 7:38 AM EDT2018-07-16 11:38:10 GMT
    (Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP, File). FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2017 file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam. The outcome of the first summi...(Jorge Silva/Pool Photo via AP, File). FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2017 file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump and Russia's President Vladimir Putin talk during the family photo session at the APEC Summit in Danang, Vietnam. The outcome of the first summi...

    The outcome of the first summit between the unpredictable first-term American president and Russia's steely-eyed longtime leader is anybody's guess.

    More >

    The outcome of the first summit between the unpredictable first-term American president and Russia's steely-eyed longtime leader is anybody's guess.

    More >
Powered by Frankly