Photo Credit: Courtesy Sanjay Gupta/Twitter
He's a multimedia superstar and dedicated neurosurgeon who Bill Clinton calls "the world's doctor." Below, just a few highlights from Dr. Sanjay Gupta's distinguished career:
Embedded with the U.S. Navy's "Devil Docs" medical unit, Dr. Gupta reported from Iraq and Kuwait, and narrated live coverage of the first operation performed during the war. He performed life-saving surgeries himself, including one on a Marine who survived after suffering a severe head injury. In 2009, he would again embed, this time with the Army, to accompany the military unit on rescue missions in Afghanistan.
His professional credentials are impeccable, but there's no denying that Dr. Gupta's media career is also aided by the fact that viewers see him as a handsome, caring, intelligent man who is committed to making sometimes complicated and confusing medical information accessible and to helping people live healthier lives. So it was no surprise that People magazine highlighted the good doctor in its 2003 Sexiest Man Alive issue. Or that USA Today called him a pop culture icon, while Forbes magazine put him on a list of the 10 most influential celebrities.
Reporting from Charity Hospital in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Gupta pointed out that, despite official claims that patients had been evacuated from the medical center, there were still very sick people there whose lives needed to be saved. His committed, compassionate coverage, which aired as part of his CNN cohort Anderson Cooper's Anderson Cooper 360 series, earned a 2006 Emmy Award and contributed to CNN's Peabody Award win for its Katrina coverage.
Dr. Gupta expanded his multimedia reach by becoming an author -- a New York Times bestselling author. His first book, 2005's Chasing Life, delves into the simple, practical ways people can combat the physical effects of aging, while in 2009, Cheating Death shares his knowledge, with real-life examples, of the medical advances that have allowed doctors to miraculously save the lives of patients who, years prior, would certainly have died. And in 2012, Dr. Gupta turned his own experiences in the high-tension world of neurosurgery into a fiction book, Monday Mornings, which has been adapted into a new TNT medical drama produced by Dr. Gupta and David E. Kelley, and starring Alfred Molina, Battlestar Galactica alum Jamie Bamber, The Bold and the Beautiful Emmy winner Jennifer Finnigan and Ving Rhames.
CNN announced that Dr. Gupta was being considered by President Barack Obama for the position of United States Surgeon General. His real-world medical experience as a neurosurgeon and his position as a trusted media presence and commenter on the latest in medical technologies and breakthroughs made him an ideal candidate, but in March 2009 Dr. Gupta announced he was withdrawing his name from consideration, citing his responsibilities to his family and his belief that he could contribute just as much in his current positions.
Dr. Gupta not only provided live, on-the-ground coverage of the flooding in Pakistan caused by monsoon rains, and won two Emmys for his reportage on the heartbreaking devastation of the earthquake in Haiti, but while in Haiti with CNN colleague Anderson Cooper, he also performed emergency surgeries, including one that saved a 12-year-old girl's life.
- Despite his very hectic media schedule and personal life with attorney wife Rebecca and their three daughters, Dr. Gupta remains a practicing general neurosurgeon at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, where he has performed spinal, trauma and 3-D image-guided surgeries. Dr. Gupta is also licensed to practice medicine in New York, Georgia, South Carolina and Michigan, the state where he grew up and attended college and medical school.
- Whether covering fallout of the 9/11 attacks in New York City or the 2004 tsunami that claimed more than 100,000 lives in Southeast Asia, Dr. Gupta is always ready to spring into action to help viewers get a clear, first-hand account of the events unfolding live around the world. But he also stars in a regular series on CNN, Sanjay Gupta, MD, in which he explores the everyday medical topics that impact viewers' lives. The show, which airs on Saturday afternoons and Sunday mornings, focuses on fitness, wellness and the medical advances that will, as Dr. Gupta says at CNN.com, "shape the quality of life for you and your family."