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Michael Ellis Debakey: A Conversation With the Editor1

      Dr. Michael E. DeBakey was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, on September 7, 1908, and I had the honor of talking with him for over 3 hours in his conference room in Houston, Texas, on September 18, 1996. During the interview, Dr. DeBakey reminisced about his earlier life and a few of his accomplishments. There were only 2 interruptions during the interview and each was a telephone call from President Clinton's physician. Each call concerned President Boris Yeltsin's grave illness and Dr. DeBakey's September 22, 1996, planned trip to Russia to consult about the President's cardiac disease. At the end of the interview, Dr. DeBakey took me into his “manuscript room” where he was working on a paper on 30-year outcomes on about 30,000 patients he had followed after they had had various operative procedures involving the coronary, carotid, renal, and peripheral arteries and the abdominal aorta. For someone who had already published about 1,500 articles plus several books, he was as excited about this latest manuscript as most physicians when seeing their first manuscript published. Furthermore, although Dr. DeBakey did most of the talking during the interview, his stories making me laugh on many occasions, at the end of the nearly 4-hour interview, he appeared to have more energy left than I did and all I did was ask a few questions.
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