The Founder of the Texas Heart Institute Passed Away at Age 96

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Dr. Denton Cooley, a man who is regarded as “the most gifted heart surgeon of his time” by many, passed away on Friday at age 96, reports. Dr. Cooley founded the Texas Heart Institute, and he was still going into the office as of Monday of last week despite his declining health.

To say Dr. Cooley is an inspirational surgeon is an understatement. In 40 years he performed around 65,000 open-heart surgeries and was one of the first doctors to successfully perform a heart transplant and implant a mechanical heart.

He was also well-known for how quickly, yet still very carefully, he could perform surgeries. says he was described as maintaining “Woolworth volume and Tiffany quality” at the height of his career.

The Texas Heart Institute website says that Dr. Cooley’s favorite poem was by R.L. Sharpe, and it reads that each of us are given “a bag of tools,” and with them one must make, “A stumbling block/Or a stepping stone.” Dr. Cooley certainly did the latter with his tools. He created many stepping stones that have improved countless lives. He will be missed, but his memory will live on.

To read more about this famous Houstonian, check out this extensive article.