DeBakey, Michael E.
- Heidi Morefield
DeBakey, Michael E. (7 Sept. 1908–11 July 2008), cardiovascular surgeon and medical educator, was born Michael Ellis Debaghi in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He was the eldest of five children born to Shaker Morris and Raheeja Debaghi, Lebanese Christians who had immigrated to the United States before his birth. The family name was later anglicized to DeBakey. DeBakey’s father was a businessman who ran several ventures including a number of drugstores; his mother was a seamstress and sewing teacher. DeBakey credited his mother with teaching him to sew, a skill that would later be essential to his success as a surgeon. As a child, he worked after school in his father’s drugstores where he met many local physicians and was inspired to pursue medicine as a career....