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Denton A. Cooley
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (August 22, 1920-November 18, 2016)
    Born in Houston, Texas
    Pioneering heart surgeon
    Performed the first heart transplant in the US (1968)
    Installed the first (temporary) artificial heart (1969)
    Received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1984) and National Medal of Technology (1998)
    He had a decades-long feud with fellow heart surgery pioneer Michael DeBakey.
    He was censured by the American College of Surgeons for failing to get approval to implant the artificial heart in a patient.
    He went bankrupt with $100 million in debts during a downturn in real estate (1988).
    During the 2000 election, he was asked to review Dick Cheney's medical records.
    He plays in an all-physician band called the Heartbeats.
    He played on the varsity basketball team at the University of Texas.
    Over a five-year period, he reduced the mortality rate for heart valve replacements from 70% to 8% (1962-67).
    The International Surgical Society called him 'the most valuable surgeon of heart and blood vessels anywhere in the world.'
    He invented fabric grafts and surgical tools used in cardiac surgery.
    He ended his feud with DeBakey when he presented DeBakey with a lifetime achievement award from the Cardiovascular Surgical Society (2007).

Credit: C. Fishel

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