[Oral history interview of Michael DeBakey by Donald A. Schanche (tape 2)]
In 1972, journalist Donald A. Schanche (1926-1994) conducted a series of interviews with DeBakey as part of his research for
a planned biography. Schanche worked on the project for several years, but the book was never completed. Several letters in
the NLM DeBakey Papers indicate that Schanche, though a talented, experienced writer and editor, had difficulty drafting DeBakey's
life story because of the sheer number and variety of DeBakey's interests and achievements. In 1976, Schanche joined the
Foreign Division of the Los Angeles Times, and moved to Cairo. It appears that neither he nor DeBakey were able to follow
up with the biography.
Topics covered in this interview include: Learning responsibility and self-discipline from his father's strict discipline;
his mother as a role model for compassion, tolerance, and Christian charity; visiting the local orphanage with donations;
his father's intolerance of laziness and vices such as smoking and drinking; experience with an alcoholic pharmacist who
worked at the family pharmacy, and finding him after he committed suicide; gardening; consciousness of racial injustice; segregation
at Charity Hospital in New Orleans; integration of wards at Methodist Hospital in Houston; his father's experience of
coming to America, settling in Lake Charles, and building several businesses; DeBakey's early affinity for reading and
for mechanical work, including automobiles; undergraduate experience at Tulane; choosing a medical career; medical school
curriculum at Tulane and reflections on effective teaching techniques; improving medical education.
Number of Image Pages:
103 (3,606,099 Bytes)
1972-02-05 (February 5, 1972)
DeBakey, Michael E.
Interviewer: Schanche, Donald A.
Reproduced with permission of Anne Schanche Ferro.