Reaction to death of Dr. DeBakey

July 12, 2008 2:28:29 PM PDT
Reaction to the death of Dr. Michael DeBakey, famed Houston heart surgeon, who died Friday night at a Houston hospital at the age of 99: "He had a burning desire to reach the top and be recognized as the leader in his field. He wanted to be a leader and an inspirer."
-- Dr. Denton A. Cooley, famed Houston heart surgeon, one-time DeBakey associate and longtime professional rival.

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"Dr. DeBakey is a legendary figure in medicine and a mentor to hundreds of practicing doctors and medical students. The full weight of his contributions may not be known for many years, but everyone who knew him gravitated to his kindness, warmth, and spirit."
-- U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas.

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"He was a rather stern disciplinarian in many respects, and a somewhat different personality from my own. But I respected the constant devotion to his work. He had very few hobbies.
-- Cooley.

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Dr. Michael DeBakey was a true international gem. People came from far and wide to be treated by him. In addition, he was a wonderful citizen of Houston, and Barbara and I mourn his loss. We not only had great respect for him, we valued our friendship with him.
-- Former President George Bush

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"His legacy will not only include his many cutting-edge surgical discoveries but also the many doctors who were able to train under his supervision -- and are now able to continue in his footsteps."
-- U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas.

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"Dr. DeBakey's skills as a surgeon and manager, along with his deep commitment to military personnel and veterans, has created a legacy of service that will never be equalled. He has touched counteless lives and, more importantly, he has saved and enriched countless lives." -- Dr. James B. Peake, U.S. Veterans Affairs secretary.

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