His patients ranged from penniless peasants from the Third World to such famous figures as the Duke of Windsor, the Shah of Iran, King Hussein of Jordan, Turkish President Turgut Ozal, Nicaraguan Leader Violetta Chamorro and Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.
But he said celebrities don't get special treatment on the operating table: "Once you incise the skin, you find that they are all very similar."
DeBakey, the man, has passed from the scene. The DeBakey legacy lives on in every person who's had bypass surgery or any number of other life-saving interventions of the heart.
Pioneering heart doctor Michael DeBakey dead at 99