Norman Shumway Biography

Surgeon (1923–2006)
Surgeon Norman Shumway performed the first human heart transplant in 1968.


Norman Shumway was born on February 9, 1923, in Kalamazoo, Michigan. After studying at Vanderbilt and Michigan University, Shumway joined the medical team at Stanford University in 1958. He researched cardiac transplantation on animals and performed early experiments. In 1968, he performed the first human heart transplant. He died of cancer on February 10, 2006, in Palo Alto, California.


Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on February 9, 1923, Norman Edward Shumway studied at Vanderbilt and Minnesota universities before joining the faculty at the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1958.

At Stanford, Norman Shumway and his team were active in many areas of cardiovascular surgery, including cardiac transplantation. Shumway did much of the early experimental work in the field, including researching cardiac transplantation on animals, before heart transplants were attempted in human beings. He performed the first adult heart transplant in the United States in 1968.

Norman Shumway died of cancer on February 10, 2006, in Palo Alto, California.

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