Oliver Sacks died early this morning at his home in Greenwich Village, surrounded by his close friends and family. He was 82. He spent his final days doing what he loved—playing the piano, writing to friends, swimming, enjoying smoked salmon, and completing several articles. His final thoughts were of gratitude for a life well lived and the privilege of working with his patients at various hospitals and residences including the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Bronx and in Queens, New York.
Dr. Sacks was writing to the last. On August 14, he published an essay, “Sabbath,” in the New York Times. Two more articles are to be published this week, one in the New York Review of Books and one in the New Yorker.
Sacks also left several nearly completed books and a vast archive of correspondence, manuscripts, and journals. Before his death Sacks established the Oliver Sacks Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing understanding of the human brain and mind through the power of narrative nonfiction and case histories.
The foundation’s goals include making Dr. Sacks’s published and yet-unpublished writings available to the broadest possible audience, preserving and digitizing materials related to his life and work and making them available for scholarly use, working to reduce the stigma of mental and neurological illness, and supporting a humane approach to neurology and psychiatry.
We at the Sacks office extend our love and sympathies to Dr. Sacks’s partner, Billy Hayes, and we are enormously grateful for the outpouring of love and support from Dr. Sacks’s readers and friends around the world.
With love from
Kate Edgar, Hallie Parker, Yolanda Rueda, Hailey Wojcik, and Kai Furbeck