Oliver Sacks, the eminent neurologist and acclaimed author of ‘Awakenings’ which inspired the Oscar-nominated film, has died aged 82.

Dr Sacks died of cancer at his home in New York City on Sunday.

As a practising neurologist, Dr Sacks looked at some of his patients with a writer’s eye and found publishing gold.

In his best-selling 1985 book, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, he described a man who really did mistake his wife’s face for his hat while visiting Dr Sacks’ office, because his brain had difficulty interpreting what he saw.

Discover magazine ranked it among the 25 greatest science books of all time in 2006, declaring, “Legions of neuroscientists now probing the mysteries of the human brain, cite this book as their greatest inspiration.”