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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index C > Denton A. Cooley Quotes

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Denton A. Cooley
(22 Aug 1920 - 18 Nov 2016)

American surgeon who was a heart-transplant pioneer and was the first to implant an artificial heart in a human on 4 Apr 1969, when no donor heart was available for a dying 47-year-old patient with diseased heart muscle.


Science Quotes by Denton A. Cooley (8 quotes)

Get a scalpel, and practice just, say, cutting a piece of meat or something like that. You sort of learn how you want to hold your fingers, and that sort of thing, and try to become graceful when you operate.
— Denton A. Cooley
Science quotes on:  |  Become (815)  |  Learn (632)  |  Meat (16)  |  Practice (204)  |  Say (984)  |  Scalpel (4)  |  Something (719)  |  Surgery (51)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Try (283)  |  Want (497)

I find I’m luckier when I work harder.
— Denton A. Cooley
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (180)  |  Find (999)  |  Luck (42)  |  Work (1351)  |  Work Hard (12)

I still take failure very seriously, but I've found that the only way I could overcome the feeling is to keep on working, and trying to benefit from failures or disappointments. There are always some lessons to be learned. So I keep on working.
— Denton A. Cooley
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (180)  |  Benefit (114)  |  Disappointment (17)  |  Failure (161)  |  Feeling (252)  |  Learn (632)  |  Learned (235)  |  Lesson (57)  |  Overcome (39)  |  Still (613)  |  Trying (144)  |  Way (1216)

I think work is a privilege. ... It keeps you alive, spiritually.
— Denton A. Cooley
Science quotes on:  |  Alive (90)  |  Privilege (39)  |  Think (1086)  |  Work (1351)

I've always felt that maybe one of the reasons that I did well as a student and made such good grades was because I lacked ... self-confidence, and I never felt that I was prepared to take an examination, and I had to study a little bit extra. So that sort of lack of confidence helped me, I think, to make a good record when I was a student.
— Denton A. Cooley
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (180)  |  Confidence (68)  |  Education (379)  |  Examination (98)  |  Good (889)  |  Lack (119)  |  Little (708)  |  Never (1087)  |  Reason (744)  |  Record (154)  |  Self (267)  |  Self-Confidence (10)  |  Student (301)  |  Study (656)  |  Think (1086)

I’ve always thought that my exposure to competitive sports helped me a great deal in the operating room. It teaches you endurance, and it teaches you how to cope with defeat, and with complications of all sort. I think I’m a well-coordinated person, more than average, and I think that came through my interest in sports, and athletics. … [Playing basketball] You have to make decisions promptly, and that’s true in the operating room as well.
— Denton A. Cooley
Science quotes on:  |  Achievement (180)  |  All (4107)  |  Average (82)  |  Complication (29)  |  Deal (188)  |  Decision (91)  |  Defeat (29)  |  Endurance (6)  |  Great (1575)  |  Interest (386)  |  More (2559)  |  Person (363)  |  Playing (42)  |  Sport (22)  |  Surgery (51)  |  Think (1086)  |  Thought (954)  |  Through (849)

So much goes into doing a transplant operation. All the way from preparing the patient, to procuring the donor. It's like being an astronaut. The astronaut gets all the credit, he gets the trip to the moon, but he had nothing to do with the creation of the rocket, or navigating the ship. He's the privileged one who gets to drive to the moon. I feel that way in some of these more difficult operations, like the heart transplant.
— Denton A. Cooley
Science quotes on:  |  All (4107)  |  Astronaut (32)  |  Being (1278)  |  Creation (329)  |  Difficult (247)  |  Do (1908)  |  Doing (280)  |  Feel (366)  |  Heart (230)  |  Heart Transplant (6)  |  Moon (238)  |  More (2559)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Operation (213)  |  Operations (107)  |  Patient (199)  |  Preparing (21)  |  Rocket (43)  |  Ship (64)  |  Surgery (51)  |  Transplant (12)  |  Way (1216)

[The heart is] really a fascinating organ. It's about the only organ in the body that you can really witness its function. Doing things. And so on. Some of the other organs you can witness, like the intestines, will have this sort of peristaltic motion. But nothing that can compare with the activity of the human heart.
— Denton A. Cooley
Science quotes on:  |  Activity (210)  |  Body (537)  |  Compare (70)  |  Doing (280)  |  Fascinating (37)  |  Function (229)  |  Heart (230)  |  Human (1470)  |  Intestine (14)  |  Motion (312)  |  Nothing (969)  |  Organ (115)  |  Other (2236)  |  Thing (1915)  |  Will (2354)  |  Witness (54)


See also:
  • 22 Aug - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Cooley's birth.
  • 100,000 Hearts: A Surgeon's Memoir, by Denton A. Cooley. - book suggestion.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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