Photo: AP Images
“Dr. Hirsch may be the most important city official you do not know.”So begins the meat of a New York Times’ story about New York City’s retiring chief medical examiner.
The most touching detail about 75-year-old Dr. Charles Hirsch’s legacy was the way he handled the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
From the Times:
In the disaster’s first minutes, Dr. Hirsch and six aides rushed to establish an on-site temporary morgue. When the first tower fell, he was thrown to the ground, bruising his body and cutting his hand badly enough to require sutures. Years later, Dr. Sampson [Hirsch’s deputy at the time] said, he would discover that he had broken every rib.
Hirsch, who was appointed by then-Mayor Ed Koch in 1989, steered the medical examiner’s office out of a time of public scandal and turmoil.
He was dedicated to keeping his office independent from the police department and public opinion, saying the only autopsy he knew how to give was an independent one, according to the Times.
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