NEW YORK (AP) -- Dr. C. Everett Koop's medical heroics are well noted, but he may be better remembered for transforming from a pariah in the eyes of the public health community into a remarkable servant who elevated the influence of the surgeon general.
An assistant at his institute at Dartmouth College, Susan Wills, says Koop died Monday at his home in Hanover, N.H. He was 96. She didn't disclose the cause of death.
Koop was a breed apart from his political bosses during the Reagan administration. He thundered about the evils of tobacco companies and became the government's spokesman on AIDS when it was still considered a "gay disease" by much of the public.
He got static from some staff at the White House, but Reagan himself never tried to silence Koop.