CNN Article:Koop enraged the powerful tobacco industry and lawmakers grateful for the industry's generous campaign funds with his insistence that smoking kills and should be banned.
Then, in the midst of a heated national debate about how best to halt the spread of AIDS, Koop blocked the Reagan administration's plans for extensive testing. To the applause of gay rights groups, Koop said the disclosure of the test results, intentional or otherwise, could ruin the careers of those tested.
He was also well-known for his work around tobacco, calling for a "smoke-free" society. His 1986 surgeon general's report on the dangers of secondhand smoke was seminal.
"That was the shot heard around the world, and it began to change public policy everywhere," said John Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society.
The report started the move toward prohibiting smoking on airplanes, restaurants and at workplaces.NYT Article:"A pioneer in the field of pediatric surgery, Dr. Koop's contributions include advances in complex surgical procedures, such as the separation of conjoined twins, establishment of the nation's first newborn surgical intensive care unit and the implementation of Children's Hospital's surgical fellowship training program," the hospital said in a statement.
Dr. Koop issued emphatic warnings about the dangers of smoking, and he almost single-handedly pushed the government into taking a more aggressive stand against AIDS. And despite his steadfast moral opposition to abortion, he refused to use his office as a pulpit from which to preach against it.
These stands led many liberals who had bitterly opposed his nomination to praise him, and many conservatives who had supported his appointment to vilify him. Conservative politicians representing tobacco-growing states were among his harshest critics, and many Americans, for moral or religious reasons, were upset by his public programs to fight AIDS and felt betrayed by his relative silence on abortion.