I read the tragic news of his death at the young age of 62 in Rwanda. Farmer was one of the truly inspiring people. A highly trained doctor who came from humble beginnings, his mission in life was to bring high quality health care to some of the poorest nations in the world, starting with Haiti. A strong believer in the need for global justice and equity, along with Ophelia Dahl (who happens to be the daughter of children’s author Roald Dahl and Academy Award winning actress Patricia Neal), he co-founded the organization Partners in Health which I have supported for many years. They sent me an email announcing the sad news and saying that his death was due to an ‘acute cardiac event’, which I understand to be a heart attack. The Miami Herald has a report.
Dr. Paul Farmer, the renowned infectious disease specialist who devoted his life to fighting deadly epidemics and spent the last several years working on four continents delivering health care to millions, has died in Rwanda, his organization Partners in Health confirmed. He was 62.
A Florida native who lived in Miami with his wife and children when he wasn’t traveling or teaching at Harvard University, Farmer was co-founder of Partners In Health, a nonprofit health care organization based in Boston with a sister organization, Zanmi Lasante, in Haiti.
The recipient of many awards, one of his most recent being the 2020 Berggruen Prize for Philosophy and Culture, and its $1 million cash award, Farmer told the Miami Herald that his personal mission was to change the way humans think of infectious disease and address social inequalities in health care delivery.