The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

February 26, 2013

C. Everett Koop, 'rock star' surgeon general, dies

(Continued)

Koop was the only son of a Manhattan banker and the nephew of a doctor. He said by age 5 he knew he wanted to be a surgeon and at age 13 he practiced his skills on neighborhood cats. He attended Dartmouth, where he received the nickname Chick, short for "chicken Koop." It stuck for life.

He received his medical degree at Cornell Medical College, choosing pediatric surgery because so few surgeons practiced it. In 1938, he married Elizabeth Flanagan, the daughter of a Connecticut doctor. They had four children. Koop's wife died in 2007, and he married Cora Hogue in 2010.

He was appointed surgeon-in-chief at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia and served as a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He pioneered surgery on newborns and successfully separated three sets of conjoined twins. He won national acclaim by reconstructing the chest of a baby born with the heart outside the body.

Although raised as a Baptist, he was drawn to a Presbyterian church near the hospital, where he developed an abiding faith. He began praying at the bedside of his young patients — ignoring the snickers of some of his colleagues.

___

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Wilson Ring in Montpelier, Vt.; Jeff McMillan in Philadelphia; and AP Medical Writer Lauran Neergaard in Washington.

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