Oliver Sacks  

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Oliver Wolf Sacks, CBE (9 July 1933 – 30 August 2015) was an English neurologist and author, known for writing best-selling case histories of his patients' disorders. Some of his books have been adapted for film and stage.

After studying at The Queen's College, Oxford (he received his medical degrees in 1960), he moved to the U.S. for his internship at Mount Zion Hospital in San Francisco. He relocated to New York in 1965 where he became professor of Neurology at New York University School of Medicine. Between 2007 and 2012, he was professor of neurology and psychiatry at Columbia University, where he also held the position of "Columbia Artist", which recognized his contributions to art and science. He had also been on the faculty of Yeshiva University's Albert Einstein College of Medicine and had been a visiting professor at the University of Warwick.

Sacks was the author of numerous best-selling books, including collections of case studies of people with neurological disorders. His writings have been featured in a wider range of media than any other contemporary medical author, with The New York Times referring to him as a "poet laureate of contemporary medicine". His books describe cases with a wealth of narrative detail about the experiences of patients and how they coped, often illuminating how the normal brain deals with perception, memory and individuality.

Awakenings (1973), an autobiographical account of his efforts to help people with encephalitis lethargica regain proper neurological function, was adapted into the Academy Award-nominated film of the same name in 1990 starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. He and his book Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain were the subject of "Musical Minds", an episode of the PBS series Nova. In 2008 Sacks was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours for services to literature.

Publications




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