Heart Surgery in History

Historical Events

Historic Event

1893-07-09 Daniel Williams repairs the torn pericardium of a knife wound patient, James Cornish, without penicillin or blood transfusion

  • 1944-11-29 Johns Hopkins hospital in Baltimore performs 1st open heart surgery
  • 1952-09-02 Dr Floyd J Lewis 1st uses deep freeze technique in heart surgery

Sports History

1983-06-21 Tennis ace Arthur Ashe undergoes double bypass heart surgery

Sports History

1992-06-02 Former NFL NY Giant Coach Bill Parcells undergoes open heart surgery

Film & TV History

1994-04-04 American actor Tony Curtis undergoes heart-bypass surgery


Famous Birthdays

Daniel WilliamsDaniel Williams (1858-1931)

1858-01-18 American heart surgeon who performed the 1st open heart Immunologist, born in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania

  • 1920-08-22 Denton Cooley, American heart surgeon (1st artificial heart transplant), born in Houston, Texas (d. 2016)

Famous Deaths

Daniel WilliamsDaniel Williams (1858-1931)

1931-08-04 American heart surgeon who performed the 1st open heart Immunologist, dies at 73

  • 1963-09-06 Margarita Sierra, Spanish-American actress (Surfside 6 - "Cha Cha"), dies after heart surgery at 27
  • 1984-05-22 John Marley [Mortimer Marlieb], American actor (Cat Ballou; Love Story; The Godfather), dies following unsuccessful open-heart surgery at 76
  • 1987-09-11 Lorne Greene [Lyon Chaim Green], Canadian actor (Bonanza - "Ben Cartwright"; Battlestar Galactica), dies of pneumonia following heart surgery at 72
  • 1990-10-03 Eleanor Steber, American soprano (Metropolitan Opera, 1940-66), dies following unsuccessful heart surgery at 76
  • 1991-02-13 Ronald "Ron" Pickering, British athletics coach and BBC sports commentator, dies after a heart bypass operation at 60
  • 1992-06-30 Jim Alaimo, American vocalist, dies after heart surgery at 53
  • 1994-10-27 Robert White, American guitarist (The Funk Brothers), dies of complications from open heart surgery at 57
  • 1996-01-20 Ellis Hillman, British Labour party politician, lecturer, and writer (London Under London), dies during heart surgery at 68

Christiaan BarnardChristiaan Barnard (1922-2001)

2001-09-02 South African cardiac surgeon who performed the 1st heart transplant, dies from a severe asthma attack at 78

  • 2002-07-19 Spec Shea, American baseball pitcher (MLB All Star, World Series 1947; NY Yankees, Washington Sens), dies after heart surgery at 81
  • 2004-08-15 Semiha Berksoy, Turkish operatic soprano (Istanbul Opera, 1940-72), dies of heart surgery complications at 94
  • 2004-12-26 Jonathan Drummond-Webb, South African pediatric heart surgeon (b. 1959)
  • 2005-03-27 Wilfred Bigelow, Canadian heart surgeon (b. 1913)
  • 2006-03-08 Brian Barratt-Boyes, New Zealand heart surgeon (b. 1924)
  • 2010-02-01 Jack Brisco, American pro wrestler (NWA World Heavyweight Champion 1973–75), dies from complications of open heart surgery at 68

Neil ArmstrongNeil Armstrong (1930-2012)

2012-08-25 American X-15 pilot and astronaut - 1st man on the Moon (Gemini 8, Apollo 11), dies from heart surgery complications at 82

  • 2012-12-10 Iajuddin Ahmed, Bangladeshi President, dies from heart surgery complications at 81
  • 2013-03-28 Richard Griffiths, British actor, dies from complications from heart surgery at 65
  • 2016-11-18 Denton Cooley, American heart surgeon (1st artificial heart transplant), dies at 96
  • 2020-09-29 Mac Davis, American country music singer-songwriter ("Baby, Don't Get Hooked On Me"; "In The Ghetto"; "I Believe In Music") and actor (North Dallas Forty), dies following heart surgery at 78 [1]
  • 2020-12-13 Jimmy Collins, American basketball shooting guard (Chicago Bulls) and coach (University of Illinois, Chicago 1996-2010), dies from heart surgery complications at 74