Famous 20th Century Cardiologists

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 1 
Christiaan Barnard
(Cardiac Surgeon)
Christiaan Barnard
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Birthdate: November 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Beaufort West, South Africa
Died: September 2, 2001
Born to a preacher father of modest means, Christiaan Barnard completed his medical school on scholarships. In December 1967, he revolutionized medical science by performing the first human heart transplant by transplanting 25-year-old accident victim Denise Darvall’s heart into 53-year-old chronic heart patient grocer Louis Washkansky.
 2 
Magdi Yacoub
(Heart Surgeon)
Magdi Yacoub
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Birthdate: November 16, 1935
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Belbin, Ashraqya, Egypt

Magdi Yacoub is a retired professor who worked at Imperial College London. He is best known for his work in repairing heart valves, a procedure which came to be known as the Ross-Yacoub procedure. In 1983, he performed the United Kingdom's first combined lung and heart transplant. Also a humanitarian, Yacoub co-founded the Magdi Yacoub Global Heart Foundation in 2008.

 3 
Conrad Murray
(Cardiologist, Personal physician of Michael Jackson at the time of his death.)
Conrad Murray
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Birthdate: February 19, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Saint Andrew, Grenada
Grenadian former cardiologist Conrad Murray worked as the personal physician of popstar Michael Jackson at the time of Jackson’s death in 2009. Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for administering the anesthetic drug that caused Jackson's death. Murray served 2 of the 4 years of his initial prison sentence.
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 4 
Hasnat Khan
(Heart & Lung Surgeon widely known for his Romantic Relationship with Diana, Princess of Wales from 1995 to 1997)
Hasnat Khan
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Birthdate: April 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Jhelum, Punjab, Pakistan

Better known as former lover of Princess Diana, British-Pakistani cardiac surgeon Hasnat Khan was once described by the late princess as “Mr Wonderful.” He had first met Diana at the Royal Brompton Hospital, where the princess had gone to visit a friend. Hasnat is a distant relative of Imran Khan.

 5 
George Pell
(Cardinal)
George Pell
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Birthdate: June 8, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Ballarat, Australia

Australian archbishop George Pell had served as the first prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. He had also played professional Australian rules football before stepping into priesthood. He made headlines in 2018, when he was convicted of child sexual assault, though the conviction was reversed later.

 6 
Denton Cooley
(Heart Surgeon)
Denton Cooley
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Birthdate: August 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States
Died: November 18, 2016

Denton Cooley was a heart and cardiothoracic surgeon. He is best known for performing the first implantation of a total artificial heart. He did his surgical training at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and later worked at Baylor College of Medicine. He founded The Texas Heart Institute and was a consultant at Texas Children's Hospital. 

 7 
Daniel Hale Williams
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Birthdate: January 18, 1856
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: August 4, 1931

Daniel Hale Williams was a general surgeon known for performing the first documented, successful pericardium surgery in the US in 1893. Born to interracial parents, he faced numerous struggles in his journey to become a physician. He later founded the first non-segregated hospital in the United States, Chicago's Provident Hospital. He also founded a nursing school for African Americans. 

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 8 
Joseph Alliluyev
(Former cardiologist and a grandson of Joseph Stalin)
Joseph Alliluyev
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Birthdate: May 22, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Died: November 2, 2008

Joseph Alliluyev was a Russian cardiologist best remembered as the grandson of Joseph Stalin. Although he maintained a low profile, Alliluyev appeared in a TV interview where he discussed his relationship with his maternal grandfather. In the 1992 TV film Stalin, which was directed by Ivan Passer, Joseph Alliluyev is showcased briefly as a six-year-old.

 9 
Michael DeBakey
(Cardiac Surgeon)
Michael DeBakey
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Birthdate: September 7, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
Died: July 11, 2008

Cardiac surgeon Michael DeBakey pioneered many treatments of cardiovascular ailments and also invented instruments such as the roller pump, later used for open-heart surgery procedures. He was also instrumental in developing MASH units and was awarded several prestigious awards, such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

 10 
Werner Forssmann
(Military physician, Surgeon, Urologist, Cardiologist)
Werner Forssmann
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Birthdate: August 29, 1904
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Berlin
Died: June 1, 1979

German physician Werner Forssmann is best-known for developing a method that allowed cardiac catheterization. This led him to jointly receive the 1956 Nobel Prize in Medicine. Forssmann started clinical application of cardiac catheterization in 1929, when he inserted a catheter into a vein of his forearm and safely passed it into his heart and took an X-ray picture of it.

 11 
Robert Coleman Atkins
(Cardiologist)
Robert Coleman Atkins
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Birthdate: October 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Died: April 17, 2003

Cardiologist Robert Coleman Atkins lent his name to the Atkins Diet, which promotes controlled carbohydrate consumption and eventually led to him being named the 2002 Time Person of the Year. Though he initially aspired to be a comedian, he later switched his focus to medicine and joined Cornell.

 12 
Wouter Basson
(Cardiologist)
Wouter Basson
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Birthdate: July 6, 1950
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: South Africa

Better known as Dr. Death in popular media, South African cardiologist Wouter Basson is infamous for being involved in the apartheid-era Project Coast, a chemical and biological weapons program targeted toward the Blacks. It is believed he continues to practice medicine for Mediclinic near Cape Town.

 13 
Bernadine Healy
(Cardiologist)
Bernadine Healy
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Birthdate: August 4, 1944
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States
Died: August 6, 2011

Bernadine Healy created history by becoming the first woman to serve as the director of the National Institutes of Health. Apart from being a seasoned cardiologist, she had also taught medicine at institutes such as Johns Hopkins and had been the president of the American Red Cross and other non-profits.

 14 
Helen B. Taussig
(Cardiologist)
Helen B. Taussig
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Birthdate: May 24, 1898
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: May 20, 1986
Helen B. Taussig is remembered as the founder of pediatric cardiology. Born to a Harvard professor father and a mother who was a women’s education pioneer, she was denied a Harvard seat for being a woman and thus studied medicine at Johns Hopkins. She pioneered the cure of the blue baby syndrome.
 15 
Eric Topol
(Cardiologist, Geneticist)
Eric Topol
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Birthdate: June 26, 1954
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Queens, New York, United States

Renowned American cardiologist Eric Topol is the founder-director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute. He is known for his pathbreaking research on genes that can be targeted for the prevention of heart diseases. He was also one of the first to question the safety factor of the medicine Vioxx.

 16 
Robert Lefkowitz
(Physician)
Robert Lefkowitz
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Birthdate: April 15, 1943
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: The Bronx, New York, United States

Born into a family of Polish immigrants, Robert Lefkowitz grew up to be a cardiologist and biochemist, and later taught at Duke University. He is best known for his research on the signal-receiving receptor molecules, such as the GPCRs, which eventually won him a Nobel Prize.

 17 
Clarence Walton Lillehei
(Pioneer of Open-Heart Surgery)
Clarence Walton Lillehei
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Birthdate: October 23, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Died: July 5, 1999

A pioneer of cross-circulation, Clarence Walton Lillehei successfully conducted cardiac surgeries by linking the circulatory systems of healthy people with those of his patients, thus eventually developing the open-heart surgery. Affectionately known as the King of Hearts, he won awards such as the Harvey Prize and the Lasker Award.

 18 
Frank Pantridge
(Physician)
Frank Pantridge
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Birthdate: October 3, 1916
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hillsborough, Northern Ireland
Died: December 26, 2004
 19 
Enéas Carneiro
(Cardiologist)
Enéas Carneiro
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Birthdate: November 5, 1938
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Rio Branco, State of Acre, Brazil
Died: May 6, 2007

Enéas Carneiro was a Brazilian polymath. A qualified cardiologist, he also had degrees in mathematics and physics. Active in politics as well, he represented the state of São Paulo in the National Chamber of Deputies and ran for presidency three times. He founded the nationalist and conservative Party of the Reconstruction of the National Order (PRONA). 

 20 
Adrian Kantrowitz
(Cardiac Surgeon)
Adrian Kantrowitz
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Birthdate: October 4, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York
Died: November 14, 2008

Adrian Kantrowitz was an American cardiac surgeon who attempted the world’s first pediatric heart transplant.  Although his initial interest was in neurosurgery, he later switched to cardiac surgery. He also invented the intra-aortic balloon pump, an easy-to-use device which helped to save millions of lives.

 21 
George A. Sheehan
(Officer, Cardiologist)
George A. Sheehan
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Birthdate: November 5, 1918
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: United States
Died: November 1, 1993

Apart from being a qualified doctor, George A. Sheehan has also gained fame as an author of books in running. Though he followed in his father’s footsteps to become a cardiologist, he later followed his early passion of track by writing bestsellers such as Running & Being.

 22 
S. I. Padmavati
(Cardiologist)
S. I. Padmavati
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Birthdate: June 20, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: British rule in Burma
Died: August 29, 2020

S. I. Padmavati was an Indian cardiologist best remembered for establishing the All India Heart Foundation and serving as the director of the National Heart Institute, Delhi. The first female cardiologist in India, Padmavati is also credited with setting up India's first cardiac catheter lab and cardiac clinic. In 1992, she was honored with India's second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan. 

 23 
Svetlana Broz
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Birthdate: July 7, 1955
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Belgrade, Serbia
 24 
Meyer Friedman
(Cardiologist)
Meyer Friedman
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Birthdate: July 13, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: United States
Died: April 27, 2001

Along with fellow cardiologist Ray H. Rosenman, Meyer Friedman identified Type-A behavior and discovered a link between Type-A people and heart disease. They noticed that the chairs used by heart patients appeared to have more worn-out upholstery, as such patients fidgeted more than others. He also penned over 500 articles on heart disease.

 25 
Paul Zoll
(Cardiologist)
Paul Zoll
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Birthdate: July 15, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 5, 1999
The pioneer of the artificial cardiac pacemaker and defibrillator, American cardiologist Paul Zoll revolutionized medical science and prevented life-threatening consequences of heart ailments. He had been an army doctor during World War II. To his patients, he was a keen listener who made an effort to understand their health issues.
 26 
Yevgeniy Chazov
(Co-founder of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)
Yevgeniy Chazov
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Birthdate: June 10, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Died: November 12, 2021
 27 
James Mackenzie
(Cardiologist)
James Mackenzie
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Birthdate: April 12, 1853
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Scone, Scotland
Died: January 26, 1925

The son of a farmer, James Mackenzie was initially gearing up to be a chemist but later decided to study medicine instead. A pioneering cardiologist, he was the first to differentiate between dangerous and harmless arrhythmias. He was eventually knighted and made a Fellow of The Royal Society, too.

 28 
Lungile Pepeta
(Cardiologist, Academic)
Lungile Pepeta
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Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: South African
Died: August 7, 2020

South African pediatric cardiologist and professor Lungile Pepeta is remembered for his life-long struggle to improve his country’s medical facilities and to create a medical school for doctors from rural areas. Part of the advisory committee of the government’s COVID-19 taskforce, he himself died of the virus later.

 29 
Vicente Andre Gomes
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Birthdate: January 18, 1952
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil
Died: May 8, 2020
 30 
Robert A. Bruce
(Cardiologist)
Robert A. Bruce
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Birthdate: November 20, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: United States
Died: February 12, 2004

Popularly known as the father of exercise cardiology, Robert A. Bruce was the man behind the Bruce Protocol, a diagnostic test used to monitor heart function. He was associated with the medical school of the University of Washington and was one of the major figures of the Seattle Heart Watch program.

 31 
John Deanfield
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Birthdate: April 28, 1952
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Marylebone, London, England, United Kingdom