The American Heart Association and American Stroke Association are celebrating the life of Dr. Ralph Sacco, a distinguished volunteer for the organization who was deeply dedicated to saving and improving lives.

Sacco died Tuesday at his home in Amagansett, New York, with his loving husband, Scott Dutcher, and his family by his side. Sacco had an aggressive brain tumor. He was 65.

Sacco, the first neurologist to serve as president of the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, later became president of the American Academy of Neurology -- both while leading many aspects of brain health at the University of Miami. He was editor-in-chief of the journal Stroke, in addition to other leadership roles. Sacco also was an epidemiologist because that work helped him have a great impact on large populations.

At the family's request, donations in Dr. Sacco's memory may be made to the AHA/ASA to The Ralph Sacco Memorial Fund for Brain Health.

Dr. Ralph Sacco served as president of the American Heart Association and American Academy of Neurology. (Photo courtesy of University of Miami Miller School of Medicine)