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Denton Arthur Cooley

educator , Surgeon

Denton COOLEY, American surgeon. numerous awards and prizes; Medal 1954; Medal, American Medical Association; Medal 1973; Medal (first recipient) 1980; Award, National; Medal of Freedom 1984; Knight; Order of Merit of Italian Repub; Order of the Sun. numerous societies and asscns.


Cooley, Denton Arthur was born on August 22, 1920 in Houston, Texas, United States. Son of Ralph C. and Mary (Fraley) Cooley.


Bachelor, University Texas, 1941. Doctor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, 1944. Doctorem Medicinae (honorary), University Turin, Italy, 1969.

HHD (honorary), Hellenic College, 1984. HHD (honorary), Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, 1984. Doctor of Science honoris causa, College of William and Mary, 1987.


Hoktoen Gold Medal 1954, Grande Medaille, University of Ghent, Belgium 1963, Rene Leriche Intern Johns Hopkins School Medicine, Baltimore, 1944-1945, resident surgery, 1945-1950. Senior surgical registrar thoracic surgery Brompton Hospital for Chest Diseases, London, 1950-1951. Associate professor surgery Baylor University College Medicine, Houston, 1951—1962, professor surgery, 1962-1969.

Clinical professor surgery University Texas Medical School, Houston, since 1975. Founder, president Texas Heart Institute, 1962—2004, president emeritus, since 2004, surgeon-in-chief, since 1962. Chief cardiovascular surgery St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital.

Consultant, cardiovascular surgery Texas Children's Hospital.


  • Achievements include performance of numerous heart transplants. Implanted 1st artificial heart, 1969. First surgeon to successfully remove pulmonary embolisms, squeezing the lungs flat to remove the inaccessible blood clots.


  • Other Work

    • Contributor articles to professional journals.


Served as captain, Medical Corps, 1946-1948. Honorary fellow Royal College Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, Royal College Surgeons of Ireland, Royal Australasian College Surgeons, Royal College Surgeons of England. Member American College of Surgeons, American Surgical Association, International Cardiovascular Society, American Association Thoracic Surgery, Society Thoracic Surgery, Society University Surgeons, American College Cardiology, American College Chest Physicians, Society Clinical Surgery, Society Vascular Surgery, Western Surgical Association, Texas Surgical Society, Halsted Society.


  • Other Interests

    Golf, tennis, ranching.


Married Louise Goldsborough Thomas, January 15, 1949. Children: Mary, Susan, Louise, Florence, Helen.

Ralph C. Cooley

Mary (Fraley) Cooley

Louise Goldsborough Thomas

Mary Cooley

Susan Cooley

Louise Cooley

Florence Cooley

Helen Cooley