(CNN) -- Former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop has died, Dartmouth College said Monday. He was 96.
Koop served as surgeon general from 1982 to 1989, under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
He was outspoken on public health issues and did much to elevate the office of the surgeon general.
He died peacefully at his home in Hanover, New Hampshire, Dartmouth said in a news release.
"Dr. Koop did more than take care of his individual patients -- he taught all of us about critical health issues that affect our larger society," said Dartmouth President Carol L. Folt. "Through that knowledge, he empowered each of us to improve our own well-being and quality of life. Dr. Koop's commitment to education allowed him to do something most physicians can only dream of: improving the health of millions of people worldwide."
Koop is perhaps best known for his work around AIDS. He wrote a brochure about the disease that was sent to 107 million households in the United States in 1988. It was the largest public health mailing ever, according to a biography of Koop on a website of the surgeon general.
Prior to his appointment, Koop was surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where he was a pioneer in the field of pediatric surgery, the biography said.
He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and attended Dartmouth College, Weill Cornell Medical College and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Koop is survived by his wife, three children and eight grandchildren.