I am sad to hear that Oliver Sacks died today. He was 82. I knew his days were numbered, but I’d hoped to read his recently-published autobiography before this day came.
The key to his significance was his writing ability, as put eloquently in his New York Times obituary: “Describing his patients’ struggles and sometimes uncanny gifts, Dr. Sacks helped introduce syndromes like Tourette’s or Asperger’s to a general audience. But he illuminated their characters as much as their conditions; he humanized and demystified them.”
I’ll be forever indebted to him for writing Migraine, a look at the various ways the chronic headaches manifest themselves. As a lifelong sufferer of migraines, hearing other people’s stories brought me comfort (not to mention, A LOT of people have them MUCH worse than I do!).
Also read the farewell blog post written by his personal assistant and his collection of farewell essays.