Patch Adams

American physician, activist, diplomat and author

Hunter Doherty "Patch" Adams (born May 28, 1945) is an American physician, social activist, clown and author. He founded the Gesundheit! Institute in 1971. Each year he organizes a group of volunteers from around the world to travel to various countries where they dress as clowns in an effort to bring humor to orphans, patients, and other people.

Adams in April 2017

Adams was born on May 28, 1945 in Washington, D.C.. He was raised in Arlington, Virginia. Adams studied at Wakefield High School, at the Virginia Commonwealth University and at George Washington University.

After being hospitalized three times in one year for wanting to end his life, he decided "you don't kill yourself, stupid; you make revolution."[1] He was married to Linda Edquist from 1975 until they divorced in 1998. They had two sons, Atomic Zagnut "Zag" Adams and Lars Zig Edquist Adams.[2] He now lives in Urbana, Illinois.[2]

The 1998 movie Patch Adams is based on his life. He was played by Robin Williams.[3]


  1. Interview with Patch Adams
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Doctor in a Clown Suit Battles Ills of His Profession". New York Times. December 15, 1998.
  3. "Real Patch Adams – Movie True Story". January 2, 2012.

Other websites