Name and location of repository
Level of description
Denton A. Cooley, MD papers
- 1944-2016 (Creation)
184.5 cubic feet (185 boxes)
Name of creator
Dr. Denton A. Cooley, the founder of the Texas Heart Institute, attended the University of Texas and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he graduated in 1944. After serving in the Army Medical Corps and studying with Lord Russell Brock in London, he returned to his hometown of Houston, Texas to teach surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in the 1950s. The Texas Heart Institute was founded on August 3, 1962 in order to research and treat cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Among many innovations developed by Cooley and his colleagues at the Institute are the first implantation of an artificial heart, the first successful heart transplant in the United States, advances in treatment of congenital defects, and a number of prostheses and implants. The Institute is part of Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the word. CHI St. Luke’s Health – Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center is the Institute’s clinical partner. [Sources: Texas Heart Institute website; The Houston Review, vol. 2, no. 1, p.16-19]
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
The Denton A. Cooley, MD papers consists of the personal and professional correspondence, administrative records, patient information, publications, artifacts, scrapbooks, photographs and ephemera of Denton Cooley, MD. Dr. Cooley was born August 22, 1920 and died November 18, 2016. He was known as an American heart and cardio-thoracic surgeon famous for performing the first implantation of a total artificial heart.
The collection is unprocessed, although a box level inventory created by Dr. Cooley’s staff is available. The bulk of the material is in good shape. Some newspaper clippings are degrading due to acidic newsprint. The collection consists of 184.5 cubic feet or about 185 boxes.
Subjects: Cardiology, Surgery
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Materials are in good condition.
Conditions governing reproduction
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Uploaded finding aid
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
On February 20, 2012, Denton A. Cooley MD donated the bulk of his papers to the Texas Medical Center (TMC) Library. The papers were delivered to the TMC Library within 90 days of Dr. Cooley's death in 2016. A deed of gift is included in the MS 043 control folder.
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Some accruals are expected for this collection.
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
The Houston Metropolitan Research Center at the Houston Public Library has a 2007 oral history with Dr. Cooley, OH-E-0219 (https://cdm17006.contentdm.oclc.org/digital/collection/oralhistory/id/13/rec/1).
- Citation: Denton A. Cooley, MD papers; MS 043; John P. McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center, Houston Academy of Medicine-Texas Medical Center Library. Please cite the box and folder numbers where appropriate.