C. Everett Koop, who raised the profile of the surgeon general by riveting America's attention on the then-emerging disease known as AIDS and by railing against smoking, has died in New Hampshire at age 96.

An assistant at Koop's Dartmouth institute, Susan Wills, said he died Monday in Hanover, where he had a home. She didn't disclose his cause of death.

Koop wielded the previously low-profile post of surgeon general as a bully pulpit for seven years during the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.