A former pediatric surgeon who went on to serve as Surgeon General from 1982 to 1989, Koop died at home in Hanover, N.H., according to a statement by Dartmouth College. No cause of death was given.
"Dr. Koop did more than take care of his individual patients — he taught all of us about critical health issues that affect our larger society," said Dartmouth President Carol L. Folt. "Through that knowledge, he empowered each of us to improve our own well-being and quality of life. Dr. Koop's commitment to education allowed him to do something most physicians can only dream of: improving the health of millions of people worldwide."
During his tenure, Koop lobbied for safe sex and the use of condoms in the fight against AIDS. He also called for a "smoke-free" society, and his 1986 Surgeon's General report lead to the eventual prohibition on smoking in airplanes, restaurants and at workplaces.