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Dr. Paul Farmer, humanitarian and North Adams native, dies at 62

Skoll Foundation
Deep Leadership: Interior Dimensions of Large Scale Change

A physician, author, and humanitarian from North Adams, Massachusetts, renowned for co-founding Partners In Health and providing care to millions worldwide has died at 62.

Dr. Paul Farmer unexpectedly died in his sleep Monday from a cardiac event. He was in Rwanda, where he had been teaching. Farmer appeared on WAMC’s Roundtable in 2011 to talk about his book Haiti After The Earthquake.

“There's no reason for people to die of cholera or not to have clean water," said Farmer. "Of course, there are roots to the ways in which water insecurity, food insecurity or lack of health care are structured over time, but there's no reason it need be so. It's not intrinsic to the nature of being human in some parts of the world rather than others.”

Farmer taught at Harvard Medical School and was chief of the division of global health equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He co-founded global health nonprofit Partners In Health in 1987, and is survived by his wife, Didi Bertrand Farmer, and their three children.

Josh Landes has been WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief since February 2018, following stints at WBGO Newark and WFMU East Orange. A passionate advocate for Western Massachusetts, Landes was raised in Pittsfield and attended Hampshire College in Amherst, receiving his bachelor's in Ethnomusicology and Radio Production. His free time is spent with his cat Harry, experimental electronic music, and exploring the woods.
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