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home Biography Denton Cooley Bio, Age, Height, Family, Wife, Children, Net Worth, Death

Denton Cooley Bio, Age, Height, Family, Wife, Children, Net Worth, Death

kurome Published On Tue Apr 02 2019   Modified On Tue Apr 02 2019
Denton Cooley Bio, Age, Height, Family, Wife, Children, Net Worth, Death


    Denton Cooley Bio, Age, Height, Family, Wife, Children, Net Worth, Death

    Denton Arthur Cooley aka Denton Cooley was an American heart and cardiothoracic surgeon who grabbed media’s attention for implanting a first artificial heart. Cooley is also the founder and surgeon-in-chief of The Texas Heart Institute and dedicated his whole to the medical field. Arthur passed away at the age of 96 in 2016 in Houston, Texas. 

    Denton Cooley’s Biography

    Denton Arthur Cooley was born on 22nd August 1920 in Houston, Texas. Similarly, he was born to father Ralph Cooley, and mother Mary Cooley. Likewise, he held American nationality and belonged to white ethnicity.

    For his education, he attended local high school, later he went to the University of Texas and majored in zoology. During his uni days, he was active in sports like basketball. Although his aim was dentistry, he switched to medical line.

    Denton enrolled at the University ofTexas Medical Branch located in Galveston. He then transferred to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine graduating in 1944. Likewise, he learned under his mentor Dr. Alfred Blalock at John Hopkins. Denton even assisted Alfred in correcting an infant’s congenital heart defect, and the operation was known as Blue Baby procedure.

    Denton Cooley’s Personal Life: Who was he married to?

    Talking about his relationship status, Cooley was a married man and father of five. He married the love of his life, Louise Goldborough Thomas who was a registered nurse in 1949. Their marital ceremony took place in the presence of their parents, family, and friends.

    Together the couple shared five children. The duo shared their marital relationship for over 69 years until their death. Cooley was a one-woman man and has not involved in any extra affairs, and relationship.


    His Louise passed away on 21st October 2016 survived by her husbands, daughters, and other family members.

    Sadly, after a month of his wife’s death, Denton passed away on 18th November 2016. Arthur was 96 years old at the time of his death. He passed away peacefully survived by his daughters, grandchildren, and family members.

    His funeral was attended by many famous skilled doctors. Dr. James T. Willerson stated that: “We’ve lost a dear friend and transformational leader, but the world has lost a medical genius and a great humanitarian.”.

    Denton Cooley’s Net Worth and Career

    As per Forbes magazine, Denton had a net worth estimated around $40 million and growing. He gathered his immense fortunes from his career as a cardiothoracic surgeon.

    To begin with his career, Cooley started his career soon after graduation. In 1946, Cooley served with the Army Medical Corps as chief of surgical services at the station hospital in Linz, Austria until 1948. He then went to London to work with Russell Brock in 1950.

    Denton ready for the surgery
    Denton ready for the surgery

    In the late 1950s, Cooley returned to Houston as an associate professor of surgery at Baylor College of Medicine. The same year, Denton began working with American cardiac surgeon, medical educator, and scientist Michael E. DeBakey.

    Similarly, he founded The Texas Heart Institute with his private funds in 1962. Following this, Denton had a dispute with DeBakey leading him to resign from his work. From 1962 to 1967, Denton and his colleagues worked on developing new artificial heart valves.

    In 1969, Denton became the first surgeon to implant an artificial heart designed by Domingo Liotta, in a man named Haskell Karp. Karp survived for around 65 hours. Similarly, the following year, Denton performed the first artificial heart implantation when no heart replacement was available.


    DeBakey and Cooley’s strained relationship came to a head on 4th April 1969 when Haskell Karp implanted an artificial heart. DeBakey charged Cooley and Liotta charged that they had used an artificial heart developed by DeBakey.

    In addition, Cooley was accused of violating federal guidelines on human experimentation by implanting the device before its efficacy was proved to animals.

    Denton was accused of violating both university and federal experimental guidelines by a special Baylor committee. He was also asked to sign a pledge to submit any further human research plans for approval. He resigned from Baylor claiming DeBakey trying to block his research and became surgeon-in-chief of the Texas Heart Institute.

    Furthermore, Karp’s widow wife filled a $4.5 million lawsuit against Cooley and St. Luke’s for using her husband as the inappropriate human experimentation, however, the suit dismissed in 1972. The dismissal was upheld by the Supreme Court ultimately.

    Awards and Honors

    • In 1984, Denton Ronald Reagan honored the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
    • He also won the Rene Leriche Prize: the highest honor of the International Surgical Society.
    • In 1998, Bill Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Technology.
    • Similarly, Cooley authored over 1,400 scientific articles and 12 books.

    Also, Read NatesLife, Mallory Bechtel, Kaitlyn Siragusa, Jessica Marais, and Erin Krakow.