Austin | Dallas | Houston
Hometown Glory

A medical giant: Houston doctor named the most innovative surgeon in the world

Enlarge
Slideshow
Dr. Denton Cooley at desk with bookshelf behind him
Texas Medical Center's own Dr. Denton Cooley was just named the "Most Innovative Surgeon Alive." Photo courtesy of UT Health
News_Dr. Denton Cooley_heart surgeon
Dr. Cooley is a pioneer of modern heart surgery. Photo courtesy of © Texas Heart Institute
Texas Heart Institute, 50th anniversary gala, September 2012, Dr. Denton Cooley
Dr. Denton Cooley at the Texas Heart Institute's 50th Anniversary Gala in September 2012. Dr. Denton Cooley Photo by Ken Hoge/Texas Heart Institute
News_Dr. Denton Cooley_Dr. Michael DeBakey
Dr. Denton Cooley and Dr. Michael DeBakey ended a decades-long feud in 2007. Photo courtesy of © Texas Heart Institute
Dr. Denton Cooley at desk with bookshelf behind him
News_Dr. Denton Cooley_heart surgeon
Texas Heart Institute, 50th anniversary gala, September 2012, Dr. Denton Cooley
News_Dr. Denton Cooley_Dr. Michael DeBakey

Houston's own Dr. Denton Cooley has been named the most innovative surgeon alive.

Healthcare-Administration-Degree.net profiled 20 groundbreaking surgeons from around the globe, emphasizing their educational backgrounds and accomplishments in the medical field. Cooley, arguably the world's most famous cardiovascular surgeon, was placed at No. 1 on the prestigious list that included many medical pioneers.

Cooley is best known for performing the first successful human heart transplant in the United States, as well as the first total artificial heart transplant in the world. 

He also founded and is the chair of the Texas Heart Institute, currently serves as a cardiovascular surgery consultant for Texas Children's Hospital, teaches at the University of Texas Health Science Center, and is the cardiovascular surgery chair at St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital

Cooley infamously had a sometimes bitter rivalry with fellow Houston surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey that lasted more than 40 years until the two finally reconciled in 2007.

During his nearly 60-year career as a cardiovascular surgeon, Cooley and his team performed more than 109,600 open-heart procedures before his retirement in 2006.

Newsletters for exploring your city

Daily Digest

Houston news, views + events

The Dining Report

News you can eat

Insider Offers

Curated experiences at exclusive prices

Promo Alerts

Special offers + exclusive deals

We will not share or sell your email address