- Born in 1933 in London
- Educated in London, Oxford at St. Paul's School and Quen's College; and University of California (60's) when he came to US.
- Neurologist, Professor of neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine (N.Y.)
- He wrote seven books (first published in 1970) and whote some essays as well as contributions to other books.
- He lives in N.Y. - City Island.
Oliver Sacks was born in London, England. Both of his parents were physicians, trained in neurology. They instilled a deep love of medicine in their children, and Oliver, as well as his three brothers, all became doctors. He attended St. Paul’s School of London and obtained his medical degree at Oxford.
In 1960, Sacks came to the United States and, since then, has made his home here. He interned in San Francisco from 1960 - 1962 and then did residency in neurology at the University of California in Los Angeles from 1962 to 1965. In 1965, he accepted a position as instructor in neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, and a post of consultant neurologist to Bronx State Hospital.
As a physician and a writer, Sacks’ goal is to humanize medicine -- to recognize the link between body and soul. In 1970, he published his first book, Migrane, in which he explored the neuropsychiatrix components of migrane headaches.
While completing Migrane, he went to work in a New York charity hospital, where he encountered an extraordinary group of patients who were to have a crucial effect on his life’s work. They were survivors of the epidemic of sleeping sickness that swept the world from 1916 - 1927. Many of these patients had spent decades as "frozen figures, human statues." They became the subject of his book Awakenings.
Originally published in 1974 and revised in 1987, W.H. Auden hailed Awakenings as "a masterpiece" and Harold Pinter used it as the basis for his play A Kind of Alaska. It was the subject of the first film made in the British television series Discovery. The feature film, Awakenings, starring Robin Williams and Robert de Niro was based on this book.
In 1984, Sacks published an autobiographical account of a mountaineering accident, A Leg to Stand On, which describes his own experience as a patient after temporarily losing the use of his leg.
His phenomenally successful The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat is a collection of case studies of people whose worlds are profoundly altered by neurological disorders.
In 1989 Sacks was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship for his work on (the neurological disorder) Tourette’s Syndrome.
"Oliver Sacks," said the NEW YORK TIMES, "is a most unusual man, as much a metaphysician as a physician, a sort of Isaac Bashevis Singer of the hospital ward."
Introduction for Nobel Conference XXX
Clinical Professor of Neurology
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Professor of neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (1985- );
adjunct professor of psychiatry, New York University Medical Center
(1992- ); recipient, Communicator of the Year Award from The Royal
National Institute for the Deaf (1991); recipient of Guggenheim
Fellowship for work on Tourette's Syndrome (1989); member or fellow
of several learned societies; author of five books, including A Leg
to Stand On (HarperCollins, 1993) and Awakenings (Doubleday, 1973).
Awakenings was re-released in paperback in 1990, and it formed the
basis for the feature film of the same name.