Linden Emerson, a spokeswoman for the Texas Heart Institute in Houston, says Cooley died on Friday at 96.
In 1969, Cooley implanted the world’s first artificial heart as a temporary measure while a heart transplant was arranged. A year earlier, he had performed the first successful human heart transplant in the U.S.
Cooley, spoke with Houston Public Media a few years ago after writing his memoir. He shared his vision of what being a surgeon meant back when he was developing his career:
He also talked about the kind of personality that a pioneer surgeon should have: