Aaron Sorkin Reveals He Had a Massive Stroke That Led Him to Quit Smoking

Aaron Sorkin in September 2022
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The writer's health scare came amid his work on reviving 'Camelot' for Broadway.

Prolific writer and producer Aaron Sorkin had a major health scare, revealing that he had a stroke in November 2022 while working on the Broadway revival of Camelot. The revelation comes while speaking to the New York Times and agreeing to go on the record about what happened to him. 

Just months before rehearsals for the show, which was rewritten by Sorkin and is set to open at New York City's Vivian Beaumont Theatre on April 13, the 61-year-old West Wing creator learned that he had suffered a stroke. It was so bad that his doctor told him that he was "supposed to be dead," and in the weeks that followed, he was slurring his words, had trouble typing and couldn't even sign his own name. 

"There was a minute when I was concerned that I was never going to be able to write again," Sorkin admits. 

While he has mostly recovered from the incident, Sorkin tells the Times that what happened to him was "a loud wake-up call." A heavy smoker since he was in high school, he reveals that he has since 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. Boy, was I wrong," he says, adding that he has also started a new diet and exercise regimen. 

Initially, Sorkin told the Times about the stroke in passing but later agreed to go public about the story in hopes that it will be a warning to someone else. "If it’ll get one person to stop smoking, then it’ll be helpful," he says.

He adds that he is now "fine," telling the Times, "I wouldn’t want anyone to think I can’t work."

While Sorkin prepares for the opening of Camelot, his fourth Broadway production after writing To Kill a Mockingbird, The Farnsworth Invention and A Few Good Men, he's also contemplating a return to the screen. He's apparently "dreaming up a Jan. 6 movie he is contemplating writing and directing," which would mark his first film since 2021's Being the Ricardos