An appraisal of Dr. Oliver Sachs appeared on the front page of the New York Times on Monday August 31st, a day after his death at age 82 of terminal cancer. Many other newspapers had obituaries, articles, and pictures of Dr. Sachs, and articles and pictures still appeared in the NY Times for a few days after his death. Oliver Sachs was a neurologist who wrote and spoke about unusual disorders of the brain and about unusual people with such disorders, some of whom had unusual abilities. He had an interesting life, and apparently, he influenced many people, and was referred to by others as a doctor, writer, teacher, and friend.
The wonderful Oscar nominated 1990 movie “Awakenings” starring Robert De Niro and Robin Williams was based on Dr. Sachs 1973 memoir of the same title.
I did not really know Dr. Sachs, but I did meet him once when he was the keynote speaker at a conference at the National Humanities Center in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, a 3-day conference in November 2008, titled: “Autonomy, Singularity, Creativity”. During one of the talks that he gave at that conference, my thinking was forever changed. I even wrote a blog about it in 2008, titled “The ICEBERG Theory” which you can Read Here.
In summary, I am clearly one of those people who were influenced by Dr. Oliver Sachs.