Michael E DeBakey By~ Anna DoRan


Michael E. DeBakey was a world renowned American cardiac surgeon. He has had many accomplishments in his life but nothing as big as this one. He performed the first “endarterectomy”, which is removing a blocked artery. Interestingly enough, the more formal definition of endarterectomy is “ The surgical removal of part of the inner lining of an artery, together with any obstructive deposits, most often carried out on the carotid artery or on vessels supplying the legs.” It is clear that, he had worked on this for a long time and in the end flourished.

This is what he looks like

Everyone has a childhood story but Michael’s was quite the eye catcher. Michael E. DeBakey was born on September 7th 1908. He was born from Lebanese immigrants and has 4 other siblings. He was intrigued by medicine at a young age and received his BS degree from Tulane. He had his internship and residency in surgery at the Charity Hospital.In 1932, he created the "roller pump," as he called it (“a device that provided continuous blood flow during operations”). History reflects that his invention was a great success.

Michael received very many awards but this was the most important to him. In 1959 he was awarded “The American Medical Association Distinguished Service Award”. He is a lifelong scholar and a world renowned author. He has been in over 1,300 published medical articles and books on surgery, research, medical education, and philosophic discussion. DeBakey proceeded to practice medicine until, his death in 2008 at the age of 99.


  • His first wife, two of his sons, and a brother died before him,
  • In 1942, he volunteered for military service during World War II and was assigned to the Surgical Consultant’s Division of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office.
  • He served as the chairman of the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation’s medical research awards jury from 1964 to 1994.
  • Because of his immense popularity he was regularly called to attend to ailing world leaders like Russian President Boris Yeltsin and U.S. Presidents Lyndon B. Johnyson and Richard M. Nixon.

Dr. Christiaan Barnard of South Africa, left, with Dr. Michael E. DeBakey and Dr. Adrian Kantrowitz of Brooklyn in 1967.

Michael E DeBakey in surgery

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