Oliver Sacks was beloved because he saw the human stories inside medicine.
Sacks was a neurologist with unique compassion and curiosity; he wrote books about people whose brains behaved in very unusual ways. His books include "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales," "The Mind's Eye," "The Island of the Colorblind" and "Seeing Voices." His first book, "Awakenings," was made into a film starring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro. In his 2015 memoir, "On the Move," and 2012's "Hallucinations," he shared how his unique experiences informed his work. Earlier this year, he announced he had terminal cancer; he died Sunday at 82.
He had many fans in the literary community; J.K. Rowling called him "great, humane and inspirational." Here are their tributes.
The great, humane and inspirational Oliver Sacks has died. He wrote this recently. That's a life well-lived. pic.twitter.com/ZnaKrOzkBm— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 30, 2015
Woke up to find my hero Oliver Sacks has died. He was like no one in medicine or writing. I will dearly miss him. https://t.co/Bf9zZASQHw— Atul Gawande (@Atul_Gawande) August 30, 2015
The world is much emptier today. RIP Oliver Sacks, a remarkable man, an inspiration.— Susan Orlean (@susanorlean) August 30, 2015
Feeling sad about passing of Oliver Sacks, grateful for his writing about Temporal Lobe epilepsy. He made me feel less crazy @OliverSacks— ElissaSchappell (@ElissaSchappell) August 30, 2015
RIP Oliver Sacks---who taught us about dying and living. https://t.co/IILhUKz1fq— Nicholas Thompson (@nxthompson) August 30, 2015
Oliver Sacks was generous/kind. Once he sent me a warm note--tho we'd never met--b/c he came across something that related to my 1st book.— Darinstrauss (@Darinstrauss) August 30, 2015
I always hoped I'd get the chance to meet Oliver Sacks. What a mind and what a life. RIP.— Mara Wilson (@MaraWritesStuff) August 30, 2015
Michael Schermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine, weighed in.
RIP Oliver Sacks. A life well lived. For the ages. You will be missed but never forgotten. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/dwBioBZ36y— Michael Shermer (@michaelshermer) August 30, 2015
Some publishers gathered the writing they'd published by Sacks.
In remembrance of the incomparable Oliver Sacks, a look back at some of his iconic work for The New Yorker: https://t.co/qEIp16m56s— The New Yorker (@NewYorker) August 30, 2015
In memory of Oliver Sacks https://t.co/H0hz2VeTlC— NY Review of Books (@nybooks) August 30, 2015
Ben Schwartz joked:
In honor of Oliver Sacks passing, I'm going to pretend anything I don't want to deal with this week is a hat.— Ben Schwartz (@benschwartzy) August 30, 2015
From Sacks' official Twitter account.
Book news and more; I'm @paperhaus on Twitter
He spent his final days doing what he loved—playing piano, writing to friends, swimming, and enjoying smoked salmon. https://t.co/Ua0dHvJPQz— Oliver Sacks (@OliverSacks) August 30, 2015