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Acclaimed neurologist and ‘Awakenings’ author Oliver Sacks dies aged 82

Joseph McCormick August 30, 2015

Famed out gay neurosurgeon and author Oliver Sacks has died aged 82.

The ‘Awakenings’ author, had revealed in February that he was at the final stages of terminal cancer.

Kate Edgar, his personal assistant confirmed to the New York Times that Sacks had died in his home in New York.

Sacks had a melanoma in his eye, which had spread to his liver.

In February, he wrote an essay for the New York Times, which read: “A month ago, I felt that I was in good health, even robust health. At 81, I still swim a mile a day. But my luck has run out – a few weeks ago I learned that I have multiple metastases in the liver.”

As well as ‘Awakenings’, on which the Oscar-nominated film starring Robin Williams was based, Sacks also wrote The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat and The Island of the Colourblind.

Awakenings was based on the London-born author’s work with his patients who were woken up after spending years in a catatonic state.

In his memoir ‘On the move: A life’, Sacks discussed being gay, saying after a few early relationships, he was celibate for 35 years.

He later found love, and is survived by his partner of eight years, the writer Bill Hayes.

Former chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks reacted to the news of the neurologist’s death, saying: “One of my great sources of pride was sharing a name with Oliver Sacks, not a relative, but one of the great healers of souls in our generation. He was a man of surpassing humanity, A great psychologist, a fine writer and a role model of compassionate understanding. We will miss him greatly.”

More: awakenings, oliver sacks, Robin Williams

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