Denton A Cooley

Job title
President, Surgeon-in-Chief, and Founder
Texas Heart Institute

Denton A Cooley, MD, is President, Surgeon-in-Chief, and founder of the Texas Heart Institute. He also serves as Chief of Cardiovascular Surgery at St Luke’s Episcopal Hospital, as a Consultant in Cardiovascular Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital, and as a Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Previously, Dr Cooley served as a Professor of Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine for 18 years until 1969. In 1946 Dr Cooley served with the Army Medical Corps as Chief of Surgical Services at the Station Hospital in Linz, Austria, and was discharged in 1948 with the rank of Captain. A world-renowned surgeon and a pioneer in cardiovascular surgery, in 1968 Dr Cooley performed the first successful human heart transplant in the US, and the following year became the first surgeon to implant an artificial heart in man. Dr Cooley and his associates have performed more than 100,000 open heart operations—more than any other group in the world. Among a plethora of international awards, Dr Cooley has been the recipient of the Medal of Freedom, the Rene Leriche Prize, and the National Medal of Technology. He is the author or co-author of more than 1,300 scientific articles and 12 books. Dr Cooley graduated from the University of Texas in 1941 and earned his MD from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1944.


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