GN New York - British neurologist Oliver Sacks has died at the age of 82, it has been confirmed.

The acclaimed author, whose book Awakenings inspired a film of the same name, reportedly died of cancer at his home in New York. In February he wrote about his illness - and being “face to face with dying”.

Awakenings was Dr Sacks’ account of how he brought a group of patients “back to life” after they spent years in “frozen states” after an illness.

The film version, which starred Robert De Niro and Robin Williams, was nominated for three Academy Awards - including best picture, in 1991.

Dr Sacks, who was born in London but lived in New York since 1965, was the author of several other books about unusual medical conditions, including The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat and The Island Of The Colorblind.

He was awarded several honorary degrees recognising his contribution to science and literature, as well as a CBE in 2008 in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Jacqui Graham, Dr Sacks’ publicist, told the BBC he was “unlike anybody else I’ve ever met”.

She said she received an email from Dr Sacks’ long-time PA saying the neurologist had “a very good death, in the same way that he’d had a very good life”.

Mrs Graham said: “He died surrounded by the things he loved and the people he loved, very peacefully, after an illness he had known about since January this year. He taught us a great deal, right up until the very end. “He always taught us what it was to be human, and he taught us what it is to die.”

Paying tribute to Dr Sacks, she added: “To say he was unique is for once in the world true. “He was completely himself - eccentric, but in a marvellous way. He was just completely full of love for life and very impish, and he was childish in the very best sense.”

Other tributes to the author have been paid on Twitter, including by the author JK Rowling, who called him “great, humane and inspirational”. Biologist Richard Dawkins tweeted: “I met Oliver Sacks only twice, but greatly admired him. Sad to hear of his death.”