POMONA, Calif. – Jesse Steinfeld, who became the first surgeon general ever forced out of office by the president after campaigning against the dangers of smoking during the Richard Nixon era, has died in Southern California. He was 87.
His daughter, Susan Steinfeld, says her father died Tuesday morning in a nursing home in Pomona following a stroke he suffered a month ago.
As Nixon's surgeon general from 1969-1973, Steinfeld campaigned hard against the dangers of smoking. He changed cigarette package labels to state clearly that the habit was hazardous to health and called for a ban on smoking in restaurants, theaters, planes and other public places — decades before such prohibitions became commonplace.
That and other controversial actions put him at odds with the administration and he was asked to resign.