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The C. Everett Koop Papers

[Autobiographical sketch] pdf (237,665 Bytes) transcript of pdf
[Autobiographical sketch]
Koop wrote this autobiographical sketch for his freshman English class while at Dartmouth College.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
3 (237,665 Bytes)
Date Supplied:
Between October 1933 and March 1934
Koop, C. Everett
Reproduced with permission of C. Everett Koop.
Exhibit Category:
Biographical Information
Box Number: 114
Folder Number: 8a
Unique Identifier:
Document Type:
Physical Condition:
Series: Scrapbooks and Memorabilia
Folder: Autobiographical sketch [written at Dartmouth], ca. 1933 Oct -1934 Mar
Confronted with the task of writing the story of my short life at the age of seventeen, I realize the difficulty without the mature aspect usually assumed by an autobiographer.
Unlike most only sons, I do not feel that I have suffered the usual spoiling. My parents have applied the necessary discipline and censure that did not permit of my being headstrong. Although they have been my constant companions, I was allowed to develop an individual personality and independence that is so often lacking in a family of only one child. I enjoyed free expression but I was checked when necessary.
Very early in life, I became a collector of everything and anything either rare or curious. In my curio cabinet, I have articles ranging from stone implements to one of Tommy Hitchcock's polo balls. In addition, I have various hobbies such as stamp, coin, and old document collections. With these varied interests, I have always had my mind occupied and found great pleasure in improving my collections.
My elementary training was had in the public schools of New York. At the age of twelve I entered the Flatbush School, a private institution. I saw advantages there that I did not have before and became intensely interested in extra-curricular activities. While playing center on my football team, I was also treasurer of the Athletic Association. I successfully represented one of the political parties of the school and was elected president of the student body at the same time that I was president of the Senior Class. It all made for a very happy high school life.
I was only about eleven years old when medicine began to appeal to me as a profession and up to the present time it is still my goal. I have great aspirations of being not only a medical doctor but one of the greatest surgeons of my time. My desire for such a position is not for a monetary return. I have always had what might be called a passion for healing and I would give all I had to be in the position where I might help my fellow men.
Never was there a person born or brought up in the large city of New York that dislikes it more than I. The stuffy streets of the city and the hustle of millions of human beings tearing madly about from one place to the other puts me in a mood of restless longing for the spots of beautiful countryside and bucolic scenery that I have occasionally lived with on my vacations to Maine, Nova Scotia, and Long Island.
My grandfather has been spending his vacations for more than thirty years in the little town of Arcadia, Nova Scotia. His visit in July has become more or less traditional in that township of quaint, simple folk. Each year a number of homesteads are thrown open to him and his family. To be able to pick strawberries, pitch hay, or take cattle to pasture in the company of one of these ever-contented farmers has been a joy to me on every occasion. It was this country, I think, that first instilled in me a profound love for rural atmosphere.
My emotions were the same in the rugged country of Maine. Yet, even the awe-inspiring, dark forests of tall pines of this most northern state and the endless expanse of sand, water, and sky on Long Island could not bring to me the overwhelming feeling of close communion with nature that I experienced at the sight of the red lighthouse perched on the rocky point of Cape Forshu, Nova Scotia. My love for this wilderness is insatiable. Although I came to Dartmouth College for its scholastic offerings, I am going to enjoy in these most beautiful, natural surroundings. At the end of that time, I shall go to the place where I might learn the most about the preservation of life.
In the next four years, I shall be separated from home and my parents. It shall be necessary then, as before, to place all my cares in the hands of One whose infinite wisdom guides us for our best.
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