Former surgeon general C. Everett Koop died Monday in New Hampshire at age 96. Koop is justly renowned for his role in the tobacco wars of the 1990s. His repeated warnings that tobacco use was deadly and increasing among children anchored a series of famous congressional hearings that led to warning labels, bans on Joe Camel-type advertising and regulation of tobacco.
But Koop was also a pivotal figure, and probably saved just as many lives, because he broke a deadlock in the Republican Party that had stopped Congress from addressing the rampaging AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.
(READ the story in the Washington Post)