Home » Dr. Denton Cooley honored at ‘An Evening with a Texas Legend’
March 7, 2008 – Texas Children’s Hospital
Texas Children’s recently celebrated the fourth annual “Evening with a Texas Legend” by honoring world-renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Denton Cooley. CNN’s Larry King interviewed Cooley in front of a packed audience at the Hilton Americas Hotel ballroom.
The legendary Cooley is chief surgeon at the Texas Heart Institute, which he founded in 1962. He performed the first successful heart transplant in the United States in 1968, and has been responsible for more than 100,000 open heart surgeries during his more than 60 year career. He also is a teacher, inventor, author, humanitarian and University of Texas Hall of Fame athlete.
The event was designed to reflect Cooley’s whimsical, easy-going personality and passion for sports, music and medicine. Waiters wore scrubs emblazoned with Cooley’s motto, “I’d rather wear out than rust out!” and centerpieces were constructed from golf clubs, marching-band instruments and University of Texas paraphernalia. The seated dinner featured recipes from Cooley’s famous Eat Smart for a Healthy Heart cookbook.
The audience got a healthy dose of laughter during the Larry King interview, as Cooley gently poked fun of himself, the medical industry, his famous feud with Dr. Michael DeBakey, and even his family life. “I always wanted to be the captain of my own ship, but then I went and married an admiral,” he said of Louise, his wife of 58 years.
The event was chaired by Janet and Tom Walker with proceeds benefiting pediatric cancer research conducted at Texas Children’s Cancer Center.
Pictured: Larry King interviews Cooley in front of a packed audience at the Hilton Americas Hotel ballroom.