About this Collection

Michael E. DeBakey (1908-2008) was a legendary American surgeon, educator, and medical statesman. During a career spanning 75 years, his work transformed cardiovascular surgery, raised medical education standards, and informed national health care policy. He pioneered dozens of operative procedures such as aneurysm repair, coronary bypass, and endarterectomy, which routinely save thousands of lives each year, and performed some of the first heart transplants. His inventions included the roller pump (a key component of heart-lung machines) as well as artificial hearts and ventricular assist pumps. He was a driving force in building Houston's Baylor University College of Medicine into a premier medical center, where he trained several generations of top surgeons from all over the world.

The National Library of Medicine holds a collection of Michael E. DeBakey Papers, which range from 1903 to 2009. The collection contains correspondence, administrative records, diaries, transcripts, publications, speeches, conference and awards material, subject files, photographs, and audiovisual media.

As part of its Profiles in Science project, the National Library of Medicine has made available online a digitized selection of the Michael E. DeBakey Papers. This website provides access to the portions of the Michael E. DeBakey Papers that are now publicly available. Individuals interested in conducting research using the full collection of Michael E. DeBakey Papers should contact the National Library of Medicine.

This Profile is designed to introduce you to the various phases of DeBakey's medical career and professional life. Narrative sections available from the navigation bar under "The Story" focus on Debakey's life and major contributions to cardiovascular surgery, medical education, and healthcare policy.

Researchers can search the digitized items using the Search box or browse all Documents and Visuals in the collection by selecting "Collection Items" from the navigation bar.