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C. Everett Koop Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS C 489

Abstract

Dr. C. Everett Koop was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) in February 1981, and sworn in as Surgeon General on November 17, 1981. The collection documents Koop's career as a leading pediatric surgeon during the 1950s-1970s, his activities as Surgeon General from 1981-1989 and the many public health issues with which he was concerned, and some of his post-Surgeon General's career as a health advocate.

Dates

  • 1933-2011

Extent

130 Linear Feet (164 boxes)

Creator

Abstract

Dr. C. Everett Koop was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) in February 1981, and sworn in as Surgeon General on November 17, 1981. The collection documents Koop's career as a leading pediatric surgeon during the 1950s-1970s, his activities as Surgeon General from 1981-1989 and the many public health issues with which he was concerned, and some of his post-Surgeon General's career as a health advocate.

Physical Location

Materials stored onsite. History of Medicine Division. National Library of Medicine

Access Restrictions

Collection contains restricted material. Portions of the collection are restricted according to HMD's Access to Health Information of Individuals policy. Contact the Reference Staff for information regarding access. For access to the policy and application form, please visit https://www.nlm.nih.gov/hmd/manuscripts/phi.pdf.

Copyright and Re-use Information

Donor's copyrights were transferred to the public domain. Archival collections often contain mixed copyrights; while NLM is the owner of the physical items, permission to examine collection materials is not an authorization to publish. These materials are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. It is the user's responsibility to research and understand any applicable copyright and re-publication rights not allowed by fair use. NLM does not grant permissions to publish.

Privacy Information

Archives and manuscript collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in any collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications for which the National Library of Medicine assumes no responsibility.

Biographical Note

Dr. C. Everett Koop was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health, U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) in February 1981, and sworn in as Surgeon General on November 17, 1981. Additionally, he was appointed Director of the Office of International Health in May 1982.

Before joining PHS, Dr. Koop, a pediatric surgeon with an international reputation, was Surgeon-in-Chief of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Professor of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Koop was born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 14, 1916, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1937 and received his M.D. degree from Cornell Medical College in 1941. After serving an internship at the Pennsylvania Hospital, he pursued postgraduate training at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Boston Children's Hospital and the Graduate School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, from which he received the degree of Doctor of Science (Medicine) in 1947. After promotions up the academic ladder, he was named Professor of Pediatric Surgery, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania in 1959 and Professor of Pediatrics in 1971.

As Surgeon General, Dr. Koop advised the public on health matters such as smoking and health, diet and nutrition, environmental health hazards, and the importance of immunization and disease prevention. He oversaw the activities of the 6,000 member PHS Commissioned Corps. Specific responsibilities included serving as an ex-officio member of the Board of Regents, National Library of Medicine; Board of Regents, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences; Board of Directors, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology; and the Board of Governors, Gorgas Memorial Institute.

Dr. Koop has been the recipient of numerous honors and awards including seventeen honorary doctorates. He was awarded the Denis Brown Gold Medal by the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons; the William E. Ladd Gold Medal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of pediatric surgery; the Order of Duarte, Sanchez, and Mella, the highest award of the Dominican Republic, for his achievement in separating the conjoined Domician twins; and a number of other awards from civic, religious, medical and philanthropic organizations. He was awarded the Medal of the Legion of Honor by France in 1980, inducted into the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1982, and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. In May 1983, Dr. Koop was awarded the Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal in recognition of his extraordinary leadership of the U.S. Public Health Service.

Dr. Koop is a member of the American Surgical Association, the Society of University Surgeons, the American Pediatric Surgical Association, and other professional societies. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics. He also holds membership in many international organizations. He is the author of more than 200 articles and books on the practice of medicine.

Collection Summary

Correspondence, speeches, photographs, videos, writings, scrapbooks and other memorabilia document C. Everett Koop's tenure as U.S. Surgeon General and later at Dartmouth University's Koop Institute and the many public health issues with which he was concerned. Koop's earlier career as a pediatric surgeon is also documented, albeit on a smaller scale.

The bulk of the material is organized as Series 2: Sequential Files and Series 3: Subject Files. Both series were created and maintained by the SG administrative staff and represent a kind of "in-box" for all varieties of information that came into the office each month. The Subject Files series contains the portion of these office files concerning topics Koop felt were major focuses of his and held strong personal import. Upon leaving office he took these sequential files with him. Here the researcher will find Koop's files on the Baby Doe and Katie Beckett controversies, Koop's early work with adolescent health from his career as a pediatric surgeon during the 1950s-1970s, and some post-SG material related to tobacco and smoking.

The earlier portion of Sequential Files series mainly consists of routine and administrative intra-office and HHS material on topics that held minimal interest to Koop, such as organizational policy and the day-to-day operations of the SG Office and the Commissioned Officers Corps. Both sets of these files contain clippings, background information, reports and speeches reflect the major issues Koop confronted such as AIDS, child health care, smoking, pornography and illicit drugs. AIDS-related materials are primarily found in the post-1987 portion of the series. Child health topics dominate the 1981-1984 portions of the series, while pornography and smoking topics occupy most of the 1984-1987 years.

Speeches can be found in Series 6, the second largest series of the collection, which contain new introductions and reminiscences authored by Koop after the collection was donated. The Correspondence series forms another significant portion the collection and contains official correspondence, fan mail and hate mail. The Scrapbooks and Memorabilia series consists mainly of photographs, but also includes clippings, notes, and awards. For additional photographs, researchers should consult Series 8: Photographs. The Audiovisual and Digital Materials series contains CD-ROMs of political cartoons, along with videotapes and audiocassettes of interviews and other programs. Series 10: Published Works contains books, journal articles, unpublished works, and reports by or about the former Surgeon General.

Provenance

Gift, C. Everett Koop, 1989 and subsequent additions.

General

Processed by
HMD Staff, Meghan Attalla and Rob Taglianetti, Sarah Eilers, Jim Labosier
Encoded by
Meghan Attalla, Sarah Eilers, John P. Rees, Rob Taglianetti, Jim Labosier
Processing completed
1989; March 2007; April 2019

Language of Materials

Collection materials primarily in English

Title
Finding Aid to the C. Everett Koop Papers, 1933-2011
Status
Unverified Partial Draft
Author
HMD Staff, Meghan Attalla and Rob Taglianetti, Sarah Eilers, Jim Labosier
Date
1989; March 2007; April 2019
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latn
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English
Edition statement
3.0

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Archives and Modern Manuscripts Collection Collecting Area

Contact:
8600 Rockville Pike
Bldg 38/1E-21, MSC 3819
Bethesda MD 20894 US
(301) 402-8878