Oliver Sacks, neurologist and author, dies at 82

Oliver Sacks, who has died at the age of 82. Picture: Getty
Oliver Sacks, who has died at the age of 82. Picture: Getty
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OLIVER Sacks, the neurologist and author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, has died aged 82, according to reports.

His personal assistant told the New York Times that he died on Sunday at his home in New York City from cancer.

Dr Sacks announced in February that his “luck had ran out” after he was diagnosed with the disease.

In an op-ed for the American newspaper, he said that he had multiple metastases in the liver, and was now “face to face with dying”.

“It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can,” he said.

The London-born academic was the author of several books about unusual medical conditions including Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and The Island Of The Colorblind.

Awakenings was based on his work with patients who were treated with a drug that woke them up after years in a catatonic state.

The film version, starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, was nominated for three Oscars - including Best Picture, in 1991.

Dr Sacks was awarded several honorary degrees recognising his contribution to science and literature, and was made a CBE in 2008 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Tributes to the author were paid on Twitter.

JK Rowling described Dr Sacks as a “great, humane and inspirational” man, adding that he had “a life well-lived”.

The biologist and atheist Richard Dawkins wrote that he “greatly admired him” and was “sad to hear of his death”.