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Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (13) | Personal Quotes (27)

Overview (3)

Born in Washington, District of Columbia, USA
Birth NameHunter Doherty Adams
Height 6' 5" (1.96 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Patch Adams was born on May 28, 1945 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA as Hunter Doherty Adams. He has been married to Susan Parenti since July 28, 2010. He was previously married to Linda Edquist.

Spouse (2)

Susan Parenti (28 July 2010 - present)
Linda Edquist (19 April 1975 - 3 November 1998) (divorced) (2 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Extremely colourful shirts and ties
Thick moustache
Long hair tied in a ponytail, with one side sometimes dyed

Trivia (13)

He was institutionalized multiple times for suicide attempts when he was a teenager.
He and his team did not receive Government funding and had to fund their hospital by working other jobs.
Started his "Gesundheit!" institute, which is committed to bringing health care to those who cannot afford it, in 1971 after graduating medical school with twenty other people. It was located in his home and there could be up to fifty people staying there in a single night.
His institution has provided medical aid in war zones in Bosnia, Refugee camps in Macedonia and orphanages in South Africa.
Entered Medical school without an Undergraduate degree.
Personally conducts patient interviews that often last up to four hours long.
Writes 4 to 600 long-hand letters each month.
Does not know how to use a computer.
Is a frequent speaker at medical schools and conferences.
Didn't like Patch Adams (1998).
Granddaughter Violet born to eldest son, Zag, 38, on October 1st, 2014.
Signed the Not In Our Name pledge in 2002, vowing opposition to the Bush administration's policies in the War on Terrorism. Other signatories included Robert Altman, John Cusack, Casey Kasem, Spike Lee, Susan Sarandon and Howard Zinn.

Personal Quotes (27)

Humor is an antidote to all ills.
You've got to know what you want. This is central to acting on your intentions. When you know what you want, you realize that all there is left then is time management. You'll manage your time to achieve your goals because you clearly know what you're trying to achieve in your life.
I'm a clown, which could be a public health role. I'm really interested in moving our society away from a society needing Xanax and Prozac, and that is really feeling depressed, to one that is celebrating, and so I find just walking around in colorful clothes, people smile.
I'm great at a deathbed. I've never given tranquillisers or psychiatric medicine. I've given love and fun and creativity and passion and hope, and these things ease suffering.
At the age of 18, I made up my mind to never have another bad day in my life. I dove into a endless sea of gratitude from which I've never emerged.
Unlike a lot of people, I don't feel powerless. I know I can do something. But anyone can do something, it's not about being special. It's about deciding to do it - to dive into work for peace and justice and care for everybody on the planet.
I'm looking for a world where love will no longer be extraordinary.
If we don't change from a world society that worships money and power to one that worships compassion and generosity, I think we'll be extinct by mid-century. I don't say that as an alarmist or as a pessimist.
The role of a clown and a physician are the same - it's to elevate the possible and to relieve suffering.
I've taken clowns into the war in Bosnia, the refugee camps of Kosovo, and none of those are any more important than clowning in a subway or an elevator or just walking down the street.
I've never made a penny being a doctor, so that makes it not a job. My sense of a doctor is that one is a presence caring for health. So I'm never not a doctor. People call me from all over the world who are hurting, and I care for them. Chatting is what more people want than anything.
When you left the house today, you had the intention of putting clothes on and you did. You didn't try to put your pants on today. You simply put them on. The same has to hold for all of our intentions. We don't try to be more loving partners. We make the intention, and we act on it.
What I really want is a world where no one alive can remember what the word 'war' means. That's my goal.
Clowning is a trick to get love close. I can hug 99 percent of people in the first second of contact if I'm in my clown character. The clown assumes your humanity. It assumes that, whatever trauma you've had, you can still love yourself.
I make me. At 18, I decided I wasn't going to have an unconstructed self ever. I was going to be the composer, the designer, the architect of me. It's been really fun.
Is letting our children watch TV a form of child abuse? If our children grow up knowing everything about Britney Spears and nothing about nature or faith, about anything, is that not a form of child abuse?
I entered medicine to use it as a vehicle for social change.
Everyone who goes to a job he doesn't like is a lot weirder than I am.
Wearing underwear on the outside of your clothes can turn a tedious trip to the store for a forgotten carton of milk into an amusement park romp.
The medium of response in America is fame; that's how a person that bounces a ball can make millions of dollars, and a school teacher with no fame makes $35,000.
It is inexcusable that the richest country in the world does not take care of all of its people. We don't consider ourselves idealistic; we're thoughtfully trying to make a beautiful health care model.
I first came to Russia because of the culture, literature and music... and my interest in the 19th-century revolutionary spirit of Herzen, Bakunin and Kropotkin. Russia is a wonderful place to bring new clowns because Russians give back a wonderful response.
We are a breathtakingly alienated people... One of my props is the world's largest underpants. I've had the president of Costa Rica in my underpants with me.
[on hearing about Robin Williams passing] The terrible news of the passing of Robin Williams reached me here in the Peruvian Amazon late Monday night with tremendous sadness. Surrounded by over 100 friends and clowns on our annual clown trip, we mourn this tragic loss and continue to treasure his comic genius. Robin Williams was a wonderful, kind and generous man. One important thing I remember about his personality is that he was unassuming-he never acted as if he was powerful or famous. Instead, he was always tender and welcoming, willing to help others with a smile or a joke. Robin was a brilliant comedian-there is no doubt. He was a compassionate, caring human being. While watching him work on the set of the film based on my life-Patch Adams-I saw that whenever there was a stressful moment, Robin would tap into his improvisation style to lighten the mood of cast and crew. Also, I would like to point out, Robin would be especially kind toward my children when they would visit the set. Contrary to how many people may view him, he actually seemed to me to be an introvert. When he invited me and my family into his home, he valued peace and quiet, a chance to breathe-a chance to get away from the fame that his talent has brought him. While early in life, he turned to drug use and alcohol to escape, he replaced the addiction with moments of solitude to help cope with the stress that fame brought. This world is not kind to people who become famous, and the fame he had garnered was a nightmare. While saddened, we are left with the consequences of his death. I'm enormously grateful for his wonderful performance of my early life, which has allowed the Gesundheit Institute to continue and expand our work. We extend our blessings to his family and friends in this moment of sadness. Thank you for all you've given this world Robin, thank you my friend.
It is no secret, women for all of history, have been doing what we need. All the problems of the world are due to men, you can't name one problem in history due to women. No matter how bad men behave, with their wars and their greed, and their nasty acts, no matter how badly they behave, the women are raising the children. And so we only have to act like, did you have a sweet mother? We only need to act like your mother. Did you have a sweet grandmother? We only need to act like, so it's not a big thing. 'Jesus must come! Patch Adams must come!' This is crap. MAMA! All we need is Mama. What Mama brings with her. 'Does everybody have food? Would you like some more food? Look, your hair, let's brush your hair a little bit, ah, your clothes need to be cleaned, let's go next door and help the family next door'. Normal grandmother, we need grandmother revolution.
Why clown in a hospital? Because hospitals are horrible places! Nobody likes being in a hospital. Hierarchy where the doctor can be rude and arrogant, and treat the nurse badly and everybody else badly! A hospital is serious, technological, no, no medical school in the world teaches compassion.
At 18 when I decided to make this love revolution, I started to clown everywhere, not think 'Hospital! Nursing home!' because the adult world was 'serious', the adult world was oppressed, by this global idea that money and power over are God. And so, when I go to medical school I start a hospital that is free, that is equal, that everybody is equal, that you have a lot of time with patients, you live with the patients, you have lots of art, these were the ideas I was working on, not clowning in the hospital, this is just a taste.

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