Aaron Sorkin reveals he had a stroke, worried he would 'never be able to write again'

Aaron Sorkin reveals he had a stroke, worried he would ‘never be able to write again’

Aaron Sorkin is one of the most famous and acclaimed screenwriters working today, known for TV shows like The West Wing and films like A Few Good Men and The Social Network.

But the prolific writer recently suffered a major health scare that left him worrying if he would ever write again — and inspired him to make a major lifestyle change.

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“You’re supposed to be dead”

In a new interview with the New York Times, Sorkin revealed that in November, he began exhibiting unusual symptoms including bumping into walls and spilling his orange juice.

He went to his doctor, who said that Sorkin had a stroke. “You’re supposed to be dead,” Sorkin recalled the doctor saying, regarding his extremely high blood pressure.

For the next month, Sorkin was slurring his words and had difficulty typing or even signing his own name. “There was a minute when I was concerned that I was never going to be able to write again,” he told the Times.


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Sorkin said the stroke was a “loud wake-up call.” He has since made major changes to his health habits, working out twice a day, eating better and taking medications.

“If it’ll get one person to stop smoking, then it’ll be helpful.”

Most of all, the stroke finally convinced him to quit smoking. Sorkin says he has been a heavy smoker since high school and was smoking two packs a day, but has now quit cold turkey.

“I thought I was one of those people who could eat whatever he wanted, smoke as much as he wanted, and it’s not going to affect me,” Sorkin told the New York Times. “Boy, was I wrong.”

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Sorkin has kept the news of his stroke private for months, but decided to discuss it in the Times interview, hoping it inspires others to give up cigarettes as well: “If it’ll get one person to stop smoking, then it’ll be helpful.”

The screenwriter says he still has some lingering effects from the stroke, including an inability to taste foods, but it hasn’t affected his ability to work.

Sorkin has been working on a revised book for the classic musical Camelot, which opens on Broadway next month.

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Sorkin is one of his generation’s best-known screenwriters, and has won an Academy Award, five Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes for his work. He wrote the play A Few Good Men and its film adaptation, and created several TV shows including The West Wing, Sports Night, and The Newsroom.

His screenplays include The American President, Moneyball, Steve Jobs and The Social Network, for which he won an Oscar. He also ventured into directing with his debut Molly’s Game, and directed the Oscar-nominated films The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Being the Ricardos.

Having a stroke is very serious but we’re glad that Aaron Sorkin survived and has been inspired to make so many lifestyle changes, including quitting smoking.

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