Eminent author Oliver Sacks dies at 82


File: Oliver Sacks, the eminent neurologist, has died at the age of 82.

NEW YORK – Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and acclaimed author renowned for exploring his case histories in popular fiction, died on Sunday at his home in New York City, the New York Times reported. He was 82.

Sacks announced in February, in an opinion piece in The New York Times, that a melanoma in his eye had spread to his liver and that he was in the late stages of terminal cancer.


As a medical doctor and a writer, Sacks achieved a level of popular renown rare among scientists. Millions of copies of his books, which include The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat, Hallucinations and Awakenings, have been sold and many are still in print. His work was also adapted for film (Awakenings, starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, and The Music Never Stopped, starring JK Simmons and Lou Taylor Pucci) and stage (The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat).



Sacks variously described his books and essays as case histories, pathographies, clinical tales or “neurological novels”.

His subjects included a blind woman who perceived her hands as useless “lumps of dough”; Jimmie G, a submarine radio operator whose amnesia stranded him for more than three decades in 1945; and Dr P – the man who mistook his wife for a hat – whose brain lost the ability to decipher what his eyes were seeing.

He wrote extensively about ageing, amnesia, his own deafness, dreams, autism, hallucinations, neural Darwinism, phantom limbs, photography, pre-Columbian history, swimming and twins.

Oliver Wolf Sacks was born on July 9, 1933, in London, the youngest of four sons of doctors.

He is survived by his partner of eight years, the writer Bill Hayes. – Additional reporting Georgina Crouth


Paid Content