Author

Oliver Sacks cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Oliver Sacks

British neurologist and writer (1933-2015)

1933   -   2015

country of citizenship: United Kingdom
languages spoken, written or signed: English
educated at: The Queen's College, St Paul's School, Hall School
occupation: writer, chemist, physician writer, neurologist, science communicator, screenwriter, university teacher
award received: Guggenheim Fellowship, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, George Polk Award, Lewis Thomas Prize, Hawthornden Prize, Oskar Pfister Award, Emperor Has No Clothes Award, honorary doctorate from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru
www.oliversacks.com



Oliver Wolf Sacks, (9 July 1933 – 30 August 2015) was a British neurologist, naturalist, historian of science, and writer. Born in Britain, Sacks received his medical degree from The Queen's College, Oxford in 1960, before moving to the United States, where he spent most of his career. He then interned at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco and completed his residency in neurology and neuropathology at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). After a fellowship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, he served as neurologist at Beth Abraham Hospital's chronic-care facility in the Bronx, where he worked with a group of survivors of the 1920s sleeping sickness encephalitis lethargica, who had been unable to move on their own for decades. His treatment of those patients became the basis of his 1973 book Awakenings, which was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film in 1990, starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. His numerous other best-selling books were mostly collections of case studies of people, including himself, with neurological disorders. He also published hundreds of articles (both peer-reviewed scientific articles and articles for a general audience), not only about neurological disorders but also insightful book reviews and articles about the history of science, natural history, and nature. His writings have been featured in a wide range of media; The New York Times called him a "poet laureate of contemporary medicine," and "one of the great clinical writers of the 20th century". His books include a wealth of narrative detail about his experiences with his patients and his own experiences, and how patients and he coped with their conditions, often illuminating how the normal brain deals with perception, memory, and individuality. In addition to the information content, the beauty of his writing style is especially treasured by many of his readers. He and his book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain were the subject of "Musical Minds," an episode of the PBS series Nova. Sacks was awarded a CBE for services to medicine in the 2008 Birthday Honours.He once stated that the brain is the "most incredible thing in the universe". He became widely known for writing best-selling case histories about both his patients' and his own disorders and unusual experiences, with some of his books adapted for plays by major playwrights, feature films, animated short films, opera, dance, fine art, and musical works in the classical genre.
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