'Wonderfully mad' Oliver Sacks dies after cancer fight


Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat, has died aged 82.

His publicist, Jacqueline Graham, paid tribute to "the most humane and kind person" who was "wonderfully mad".

"He was always interested in everybody. He was utterly generous, but above all else he was an amazing writer."

She said that Dr Sacks died at his home in New York City in the early hours of Sunday morning, surrounded by the things he loved, including his partner Billy and personal assistant Kate Edgar.

JK Rowling paid tribute to the writer on Twitter, describing him as a "great, humane and inspirational" man who had "life well-lived". The biologist Richard Dawkins also said he "greatly admired" the neurologist. 

In February, Dr Sacks announced that his "luck has run out" after he was diagnosed with the liver cancer.

In an op-ed for the New York Times, 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.