A Fond Farewell to Oliver Sacks

September 11, 2015
Samantha J. Peterson

We say goodbye to polymath Oliver Sacks, who brought neurology to a wide popular audience.

In the words of Oliver Sacks, writing about his diagnosis of terminal cancer, “When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate - the genetic and neural fate - of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death … I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”Touching tributes to Dr. Sacks have poured in from friends, colleagues, patients, and admirers of his books. Zelda Williams, daughter of Robin Williams who portrayed the Dr. Sacks-inspired character in “Awakenings,” tweeted, “Last night, we lost one of the brain’s greatest champions, as well as one of my family’s favorite humans. Thank you Oliver, for treating humans like humans, not patients, and for how much you did and will continue to do for mental awareness.”As you can see on the following slides, her sentiments are shared by those who knew Dr. Sacks and those who were inspired by his work.