Most of us know Henry Morgentaler - who died of a heart attack today - as the the intrepid physician who fought for women's reproductive rights for over 40 years and faced criminal charges not once but many times while protecting women's access to safe abortions.
What was never said often enough was that he was a superb doctor.
Other commentators will comment on his legal struggles, his clinics in Winnipeg, Nova Scotia and elsewhere - none of which he launched surreptitiously, all of which he announced publicly before opening his doors - and his defiance of Therapeutic Abortion Committees of the 1970s, designed to ease restriction to abortion but which really gave doctors more power of women's bodies.
But I want to recall his profound compassion.
He pushed to change Canada's antiquated abortion laws since the late 60s when, working as a general practitioner, he was deluged with requests from women who wanted to terminate their pregnancies. It was precisely his upset over his female patients' distress that moved him to open his own clinic when he ran out of doctors to refer his patients to.
He understood the injustice of forcing women to remain pregnant, based not on some intellectual theory but on his own personal experience with the women who came to him for help.
I have a vivid memory of a woman who attended his clinic on Harbord in Toronto. She wasn't politically sophisticated, she had no history with the movement for women's reproductive rights and she didn't really know much about Morgentaler's political heroics. When I filled her in on everything he'd done, she waved me away.
"That's not what matters to me," she told me. "It's the way he was with me as a patient - kind, generous, brimming with compassion. I've never had an experience with a doctor like that in my life."
So yes, he fought the law, he wouldn't back down and he changed everything for women with unwanted pregnancies. I remember him for that.
But I remember him too as a deeply feeling man, with a gentle touch.