‘The West Wing’ creator Aaron Sorkin though he’d “never write again” after suffering stroke

"It was a loud wake-up call"

The West Wing and Social Network creator Aaron Sorkin has revealed he thought “he was never going to be able to write again” after suffering a stroke.

The award-winning screen and stage writer suffered a small stroke last autumn, but decided to keep the medical issue under wraps until recently. Speaking to the New York Times (as per Variety), Sorkin explained it was a “wake-up call”, but one which made him question if he even had a future left in the entertainment industry.

“There was a minute when I was concerned that I was never going to be able to write again,” said the Oscar-winning writer. “And, I was concerned in the short-term that I wasn’t going to be able to continue writing Camelot [his Broadway adaption of the Arthurian myths].”


Aaron Sorkin with his Oscar
The award-winning director with his Oscar. CREDIT: ALAMY

Speaking about the medical issue which hit him in 2022, Sorkin said that for about a month afterward, he was left slurring words. He also states he had trouble typing, was discouraged from flying for a few weeks and, until recently, said he couldn’t sign his name.

There is one lingering issue that Sorkin says still plagues him – he still can’t really taste food.

Speaking about the stroke and his recovery from it, Sorkin said: “Mostly it was a loud wake-up call. 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.”

The writer, who won an Oscar for The Social Network and six Primetime Emmys for The West Wing, said he originally did not plan to go public with his stroke. However, he decided to talk about it now, because “if it’ll get one person to stop smoking, then it’ll be helpful.” Sorkin said for a long period of time he was smoking two packs of cigarettes a day.

Sorkin added: “Let me make this very, very clear. I’m fine. I wouldn’t want anyone to think I can’t work. I’m fine.”

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