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Dr. Michael DeBakey, Part 1

Louisiana Legends



Genre: Interview

Place Covered: Louisiana

Copyright Holder: Louisiana Educational Television Authority

Date Issued: 1982-11-12

Duration: 00:28:02

Subjects: DeBakey, Michael E. (Michael Ellis), 1908-2008 | Ochsner, Alton, 1896-1981 | Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994 | Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 | Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973 | Lewis, Jerry, 1926- | Muscular Dystrophy Association | Heart surgeons | Health | TULANE UNIVERSITY | Medicine -- Research | Heart -- Surgery


  • Weill, Gus Host
  • DeBakey, Michael Interviewee
  • Fowler, Ken Producer
  • Breazeale, Kathryn Producer
  • Fourrier, Clay Director
  • Bryan, Bill Photographer
  • Carroll, Mark Photographer
  • James, Frank Photographer


This episode of the series “Louisiana Legends” from November 12, 1982, features the first part of an interview with Dr. Michael DeBakey conducted by Gus Weill. Dr. DeBakey, a native of Lake Charles, was a preeminent surgeon whose innovations revolutionized heart surgery. He discusses: his father’s immigration to Lake Charles from Lebanon; what he learned from his parents; his education at Tulane University; how he became interested in the heart; the impact of Dr. Alton Ochsner on his career; their research on the connection between smoking and cancer; his daily routine; the gratification he receives from helping his patients; his interactions with President Richard Nixon, President John F. Kennedy, and President Lyndon B. Johnson; and his involvement with Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual telethon. Host: Gus Weill