Michael E. DeBakey
2001 Mendel Medal Recipient

Michael E. DeBakey is a world-renowned pioneer of modern medicine. A prodigious medical inventor, gifted teacher, and outstanding surgeon, Dr. DeBakey is currently Chancellor Emeritus of Baylor College of Medicine. Dr. DeBakey untiringly pursues new avenues in which modern technology can be applied to the practice of healing and saving lives. He is credited with inventing and perfecting scores of medical devices, techniques and procedures. Currently, he is working with NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) to develop a self-contained, miniaturized artificial heart. His DeBakey-Raytheon-ITS telemedicine system uses satellites to electronically link remote sites of the world to the famed Texas medical center for medical training and treatment.

Dr. DeBakey is credited with inventing and perfecting scores of medical devices, techniques and procedures. His pioneering work includes developing Dacron arteries, arterial bypass operations, artificial hearts, heart pumps and heart transplants which are now common procedures in today's medicine. Additionally, he is credited with developing the Mobile Army Surgical Hospitals (M.A.S.H.) concepts for the military, which has led to saving thousands of lives during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts. The development of specialized medical and surgical center systems, in order to treat returning military personnel, subsequently became the Veterans Administration Medical Center System.

Dr. DeBakey has served as an advisor to nearly every United States president for the past 50 years, as well as to the heads of state throughout the world. His 1996 trip to Russia to consult on the surgery of Russian president Boris Yeltsin was reported by every major news medial outlet around the world. Dr. DeBakey's efforts helped establish the National Library of Medicine, which is now the world's largest and the most prestigious repository of medical archives.

Dr. DeBakey has performed more than 60,000 cardiovascular procedures and has trained thousands of surgeons who practice around the world. In 1976, his students founded the Michael E. DeBakey International Surgical Society. His name is affixed to a number of organizations, centers for learning, and projects devoted to medical education and health education for the general public.

Dr. DeBakey is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees from prestigious colleges and universities, as well as innumerable awards from educational institutions, professional and civic organizations, and governments worldwide. In 1969, Dr. DeBakey received the highest honor a United States citizen can receive -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom with Distinction. In 1987, he was awarded the National Medal of Science and in 1999, Dr. DeBakey was one of eight individuals chosen to commemorate the United Nations' International Day for Tolerance and received the prestigious UN Lifetime Achievement Award. The following year, Dr. DeBakey was similarly recognized by the U.S. Library of Congress; which designated him a Living Legend.

Mendel Medal Presentation Program, January 20, 2001. Villanova University, Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Debakey, Michael Ellis, cardiovascular surgeon, educator, scientist; b. Lake Charles, La., Sept. 7, 1908; s. Shaker Morris and Raheeja (Zorba) DeB.; m. Diana Cooper, Oct. 15, 1936; children: Michael Maurice, Ernest Ochsner, Barry Edward, Denis Alton; m. Katrin Fehlhaber, July 1975; 1 child, Olga Katerina. BS, Tulane U., 1930, MD, 1932, MS, 1935; MD (hon.), U. Ottawa, Canada, 1970, Aristotelean U. Thessaloniki, Greece, 1972, U. Istanbul, Turkey, 1987, Karolinska Inst., 1997; LLD (hon.), Lafayette Coll., 1965; Tulane U., 1965, U. Belgrade, Yugoslavia, 1967, McNeese State U., 1972, Southwestern U., 1978; Docteur Honoris Causa, U. Lyon, France, 1961, U. Brussels, 1962, U. Ghent, Belgium, 1964, U. Athens, Greece, 1964; U. Catholique Louvain, Belguim, 1971, Ljubljana U., Yugoslavia, 1976, U. Turin, Italy, 1965, U. Louis Pasteur, Paris, 1991, Moscow State U., Russia, 1993; Docteur honoris causa, Tex. A&M U., 2000; D Mil. Medicine & Surgery honoris causa, Uniformed Svc. U. Health Scis., 1996; LittD (hon.), U. Cin., 1969; LittD in Medicine (hon.), Baylor Coll. Medicine, 1996, Siena Coll., 1999; D (hon.), Russian Mil. Med. Acad., 1996; LHD (hon.), U. Tenn., Chattanooga, 1987, Quinnipiac Coll., 1989 Centenary Coll., 1993; HHD (hon.), Centenary Coll., 1979; DSc (hon.) Loyola U., 1965, D'Youville Coll., 1967, U. Mich., 1967, Fla. State U., 1968, Ft. Lauderdale U., 1970, St. John's U., 1970, Assumption Coll., 1971, Long Island U., 1971, MacMurray Coll., 1971, Hahnemann Med. Coll., 1973; DS (hon.), Albany Med. Coll., 1975; DSc (hon)., Roger Williams Coll., 1978, Med. Coll. Ohio at Toledo, 1980; DS, U. Toledo, 1982; DS (hon.), U. Franciso, Marroquin, Guatemala, 1989, U. N.D., 1990, Austin Coll., 1995, So. Utah U., 1997, Pa. State U., 1998, Wake Forest U., 1999, Carthage Coll., 2001. Diplomate Nat. Bd. Med. Examiners, Am. Bd. Surgery, Am. bd. Thoracic Surgery. Intern Charity Hosp., New Orleans, 1932-33 asst. surgery U. Strasbourg, France, 1935-36, U. Heidelberg, Fed. Republic of Germany, 1936; instr. surgery Tulane U., New Orleans, 1937-40, asst. prof., 1940-46, assoc. prof., 1946-48; prof., chmn. dept. surgery Baylor Coll. Medicine, 1948-93. Disting. svc. prof., 1968--, v.p. med. affairs, 1968-69, CEO, 1968-69, pres., 1969-79, Olga Keith Wiess prof. of surgery, 1981--, chancellor, 1978-96, chancellor emeritus, 1996--; pres. The DeBakey Med. Found., 1961--; dir. Nat. Heart Blood Vessel Rsch. Demonstration Ctr., Baylor Coll. Medicine, 1975-85; dir., DeBakey Heart Ctr., Baylor Coll. Medicine, 1985--; surgeon-in-chief Ben Taub Gen. Hosp., 1963-93; sr. attending surgeon Meth. Hosp.; clin. prof. surgery U. Tex. Dental Br.; cons. surgery VA Hosp., U. Tex. M.D. Anderson Cancer Ctr., St. Luke's Hosp., Tex Children's Hosp., Tex. Inst. Rehab. and Rsch., Houston, Brooke Gen. Hosp., Brooke Army Med. Ctr., Ft. Sam Houston, Tex., Walter Reed Army Hosp., Washington, D.C.; mem. med. adv. com. Office Sec. Def., 1948-50, Ams. for Substance Abuse Prevention, 1984; mem. med. adv. bd. Internat. Brotherhood Teamsters, 1985--; mem. task force med. svcs. Hoover Commn. 1949; founding bd. dirs. Friends of Nat. Libr. of Medicine, 1985--, mem. bd. regents. Nat. Libr. Medicine, 1956-60, 94-98, chmn., 1959, 98; past mem. nat. adv. heart coun. NIH; mem. Nat. Adv. Health Coun., 1961-65, Nat. Adv. Coun., Regional Med. Programs, 1965--, Nat. Adv. Gen. Med. Scis. Coun., 1965, Program Planning Com., Com. Tng., Nat. Heart Inst., 1961--; mem. civilian health and med. adv. coun. Office Asst. Sec. Def.; chmn. Pres.'s Commn. Heat Disease, Cancer and Stroke, 1964; mem adv. coun. Nat. Heart Lung and Blood Inst., 1982-87; mem. Tex. Sci. and Tech Coun.,1984-86; chmn. Found. Biomed. Rsch., 1988--, Physicians for Health in the Middle East, 1991--; trustee, v.p. Baylor Med. Found.; chmn., med. adv. bd. The DeBakey Heart Ctr. Health Letter; adv. bd. Family Cir.; internat. sci. coun. Fondation Cardiologique Princesse Liliane; adv. Dag Hammarskj÷ld Med. Sci. Prize Com.; mem. bd. visitors Uniformed Svcs. U. Health Scis., U. Calif.-Davis Sch. Medicine; mem. Baylor Coll. Med. Bd. Trustees, 1996; foreign adj. prof. Karolinska Inst., 1997. Author: (with Robert A. Kilduffe) Blood Transfusion, 1942, (with Gilbert W. Beebe) Battle Casualties, 1952, (with Alton Oshner) Textbook of Minor SUrgery, 1955, (with T. Whayne) Cold Injury, Ground Type, 1958, A Surgeon's Visit to China, 1974, The Living Heart, 1977, The Living Heart Diet, 1985, The Living Heart Brand Name Shopper's Guide, 1992, The Living Heart Guide to Eating Out, 1993, The New Living Heart Diet, 1996, The New Living Heart, 1997; editor: Yearbook of Surgery, 1958-70; chmn. adv. editl. bd. Medical History of World War II; founding editor Jour. Vascular Surgery, 1984-88; contbr. over 1600 articles to med. jours. Mem. Tex. Constl. Revision Commn., 1973. Col. Office Surgeon Gen., AUS, 1942-46; now Col. Res.; cons. to Surgeon Gen., 1946--; disting. mem. U.S. Army Med. Dept. Rgt., 1989. Decorated Legion of Merit, 1945, Independence of Jordan medal 1st Class, Merit order of Republic 1st Class Egypt, comdr. Cross of Merit Pro Utilitate Hominum Sovereign Order Knights of Hosp. of St. John of Jerusalem in Denmark; recipient Rudolph Matas award, 1954, Internat. Soc. Surgery Distig. Svc. award, 1958, Modern Medicine award, 1957, Leriche award Internat. Soc. Surgery, 1959, Great medallion U. Ghent, 1961, Grand Cross, Order Leopold, Belgium, 1962, Albert Lasker award for clin. research, 1963, Order of Merit Chile, 1964, St. Vincent prize med. scis. U. Turin, 1965, Orden del Libertador Gen. San Martin, Argentina, 1965, Centenial medal Albert Einstein Med. Ctr., 1966, Gold Scalpel award Internat. Cardiology Found., 1966, Eleanor Roosevelt Humanities award, 1969, Meritorious Civilian Service medal Office Sec. Def., 1970, USSR Acad. Sci. 50th Anniversary Jubilee medal, 1973, Britannica Achievement in Life award, 1979, Medal of Freedom with Distinction Presdl. award, 1969, Disting. Svs. award Internat. Soc. Atherosclerosis, 1979, Centennial award ASME, 1980, Marian Health Care award St. Mary's U., 1981, Inst. Med. Nat. Acad. Sci., 1981, Soc. Biomaterials, 1983, Humana Heart Inst. award, 1985, Theodore E. Cummings award, 1987, Nat. Med. of Sci. award, 1987, First Issue Michael DeBakey medal ASME, 1989, Inaugural award Scripps Clinic and Rsch. Found., 1989, DeBakey-Bard Chair in Surgery, Baylor Coll. of Medicine, 1990, Disting. Svc. award Am. Legion, 1990, Lifetime Achievement award Found. for Biomed. Rsch., 1991, Jacobs award Am. Task Force for Lebanon, 1991, Maxwell Finland award Nat. Found. for Infectious Diseases, 1992, Lifetime Achievement award Acad. Med. Films, 1992, Order of Independence First Class medal United Arab Emirates, 1992, Academy of Athens award, 1992, Cmdrs. Cross Order of Merit (Fed. Germany), 1992. Pres. Disting. Svc. award Baylor Coll. Medicine, 1992, Gibbon award Am. Soc. Extracorporeal Tech., 1993, named in his honor Michael E. DeBakey Libr. Svc. Outreach award Friends of the Nat. Libr. Medicine, 1993, Alton Ochner award relating smoking to health, 1993, Thomas Jefferson award AIA, 1993, Ellis Island Medal of Honor, 1993, Lifetime Achievement award Am. Heart Assn., 1994, Caring Spirit award Inst. Religion Tex. Med Ctr., 1994, Samaritan Living Legend award Women's Internat. Ctr., 1994, Giovanni Lorenzini Med. Fedn. prize for basic biomed. rsch., 1994, Disting. Svc. award Tex.. Soc. Biomedical Rsch., 1994, Heart Saver award Save A Heart Found., Cedars-Sinai Med. Ctr., 1994, Honor award United Meth. Assn. Health & Welfare Minstries, 1995, Michael E. DeBakey chair in Pharm. Baylor Coll. Med., 1995, Nat. Order of Vasco Nunez de Balboa (Panama), 1995, Heath Care Hall of Fame Modern Healthcare, 1996, Sci. Rschr. of XX Century award govt. of Argentine Republic, 1996, Am Inst. Aeronautics and Astronautics Pub. Svc. award, 1997, Boris Petrovsky Internat. Surgeons award, Inaugural honor for disting. physicians and scientists Med. Ctr. La. Found., 1997, Premio Giuseppe Corradi award, Bevagna, Italy, 1997, Rotary Nat. Award, 1997, Tulane Coll. Sequicentennial medal, 1997, Fire of Genius award So. Utah U., 1997, Commonwealth Trust award for invention and sci., 1997; Michael E. DeBakey, Heart Inst. Wis. named in his honor Kenosha Hosp. and Med. Ctr., 1992; Michael E. DeBakey, M.D. award for Excellence in Visual Edn. named in his honor, 1993; DeBakey Scholar in Cardiovasc. Scis. Md-PhD Program named in his honor Baylor Coll. Medicine, 1994; Michael E. DeBakey, MD Excellence in Rsch. award named in his honor Baylor Coll Medicine, 1994, dedication of Northwestern U. Med. Sch. book, 1995, Michael E. DeBakey H.S. Health Professions named in his honor, 1996; named One of 200 Most Infuential People in Telemedicine, Ctr. Pub. Svc. Comm., 1996, One of Top Ten Heroes, Millenium Soc., 1996, Am. Med. Assn. Leader in Medicine, 1997, Del Webb Corps Legends of Tex. Bridge Honoree, 1997, Med. Ctr. of Lousiana Foundation inaugural Spirit of Charity Awd., 1998, Internat. Coll. of Angiology Hon. Fellowship and Lifetime Achievement Award., 1998, Barney Clark award Artificial Heart Lab. and Medforte Rsch. Found. U. Utah, 1998, Legends of Cardiology award Assn. Black Cardiologists, 1998, John P. McGovern Lecture award Cosmos Club Found., 1998, Lifetime Achievement award Rsch. Am., 1998, Great Cross of Order St. James and Sword Govt. Portugal, 1998, Michael E. DeBakey Presdl. Excellence award named in his honor, 1998, Mus. Health and Med. Sci. Lifetime Membership award, 1999, Project ORBIS Internat. award, 1999, Soc. Vascular Surgery Disting. Svc. award, 1999, Am. Assn. Thoracic Surgery Sci. Achievement award, 1999, Am. Coll. Cardiology Puerto Rico chpt. Disting Svc. award inaugural issue, 1999, Am. Inst. Archs. inauagural Michael E. DeBakey award contbns. to Am.'s Health, 1999, Children Uniting Nations inaugural Global Peace and Tolerance Lifetime Achievement award, 1999, John P. McGovern Compleat Physician award Houston Acad. Medicine and John P. McGovern, 1999, Am. Coll. Cardiology Presdl. citation, 2000, Inaugural Virtual Mentor award Am. Med. Assn., 2000, Jonathan Rhoads medal Am. Philos. Soc., 2000, Bicentennial Living Legends award Libr. Congress, 2000, Lifetime Achievement Outstanding Alumnus award Tulane Med. Alumni Assn., 2000; Michael E. DeBakey Dept. Sugery Baylor Coll. Medicine named in his honor, 1999, Michael E. DeBakey Heart Inst. Kansas Hays Med. Ctr., 1999, Michael E. DeBakey Internat. Surg. Chair Uniformed Svcs. U. Health Scis., 2000, Michael E. DeBakey Inst. Comparative Cardiovasc. Sci. and Biomedical Devices Tex. A&M U., 2000; Inductee Space Tech. Hall Fame, 1999, Houston Hall Fame, 1999, Sci. in Tex. Hall Fame, 2000, Fellow ACS (Ann. award Southwestern Pa. chpt. 1973), Inst. of Medicine Chgo. (hon.), Royal Coll. Physcians and Surgeons of U.S. (hon., disting. fellow 1992), Am. Inst. Med. and Biol. Engring. (Founding fellw 1993), Biomaterials Sci. and Engr., Soc. Biomaterials, Am. Coll. Cardiology (hon.), Am. Coll. Health Care Execs. (hon.); mem. AAAS, Royal Soc. Medicine, Halsted Soc., Am. Heart Assn., So. Soc. Clin. Rsch., Southwestern Surg. Congress (pres. 1952), Soc. Vascular Surgery (pres. 1954), Soc. Vascular Surg, Lifetime Foundation, (pres. 1989), AMA (Distng. Svc. award 1959, Hektoen Gold medal 1954, 1970), Am. Surg. Assn. (Disting. Svc. award 1981, pres. 1989), So. Surg. Assn. (pres. 1989-90, chmn. coun. 1995--), Western Surg. Assn., Am. Assn. Thoracic Surgery (pres. 1959), Internat. Cardiovascular Soc. (pres. 1958, pres. N. Am. chpt. 1964), Assn. Internat. Vascular Surgeons (pres. 1983), Mex. Acad. Surgery (hon.), Soc. Clin. Surgery, Nat. Acads. Practice Medicine, Internat. Coll. Angiology (hon. fellow), Soc. Univ. Surgeons, Internat. Soc. Surgery, Soc Exptl. Biology and Medicine, Hellenic Surg. Soc. (hon.), Bio-med Engring. Soc. (bd. dirs. 1968), Uniformed Svc. Alumni Assn. (life hon.), Houston Heart Assn. (mem. adv. coun. 1968-69), Soc. Nacional de Cirugia (hon., Cuba), Japanese Assn. Thoracic Surgery (first fgn. hon. mem. 1989), Med. Lib. Assn. (hon.), Assn. Freancaise de Chirurgie (hon.), University Club (Washington), Houston Club (hon.), Acad. of Athens, Sigma Xi (William Procter prize for scientific achievement 1995), Telemedicine 200 Ctr. for Pub. Svcs., Alpha Omega Alpha. Episcopalian. Achievements include devel. of roller pump universally used in heart-lung machine, of Dacron artificial arteries and Dacron-velour arteries as surg. replacement of diseased arteries, of first successful patch-graft angioplasty, of fundamental concept of therapy on arterial disease, of left ventricular bypass pump for cardiac assistance and first successful resection and graft replacement of fusiform aneurysm. Office: Baylor Coll. Medicine 1 Baylor Plz. Houston TX 77030-3411 also: Tex Med Ctr. 6535 Fannin St. Houston TX 77030-2705

Who's Who in America 2002. 56th Edition. New Providence, New Jersey. Marquis Who's Who, 2001, p. 1233.

Web Links:

Biography of Michael DeBakey

Michael E. DeBakey: Pioneer, Innovator, Miracle Maker, Sammaritan

Michael E. DeBakey: Father of Modern Cardiovascular Surgery