Dr. James “Red” Duke, the famous Houston surgeon and television doctor, has died at the age of 86.
Duke had a long and illustrious career that saw him help to introduce and pioneer a number of healthcare advancements. He also found fame thanks to his television health reports, entitled Dr. Red Duke Texas Health Reports, which aired around the country for 15 years. Duke would go on to make numerous appearances on the likes of NBC Nightly News, The Today Show, and PM Magazine, while he also featured on PBS’ Bodywatch in the the mid 1980s.
According to UTH, the trauma surgeon, who was born in Ennis, Texas and spent most of his life working in the state, also helped to launch LifeFlight, which would go on to the air ambulance service. He was also one of the surgeons on call at Parkland Hospital on November 22, 1963, and he worked on Texas Governor John Connally, who was seriously wounded at the same time that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
Duke worked extensively with UT Health Science Center and Memorial Hermann Hospital throughout his career.
On Tuesday evening, Duke’s family confirmed that he had died, releasing a statement, via Click 2 Houston.
“It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Dr. James Henry ‘Red’ Duke, Jr.”
“To countless colleagues, friends and patients, he was a skilled physician, innovative healthcare provider, exceptional communicator and dedicated conversationist.”
“We, however, mourn him as a caring father, grandfather, and devoted brother who will be deeply missed by his family.”
“Additional information regarding tributes to Red’s life will be forthcoming.”
These sentiments were then joined by a tribute from Dr. Richard Andrassy, the head of UT Health’s surgery department, who released his own tribute and statement for Duke.
“[Dr Duke] was with family at Memorial Hermann. He was not in pain. He will be missed very much by all of us at UT Medical School and Memorial Hermann.”
Craig Cordola, the regional president at Memorial Hermann, also joined in the condolences and added his own heartfelt memories of the time he spent with Duke.
“As a physician, Dr. Duke is remembered for his tireless and steadfast dedication to his patients, as well as his personable bedside manner.”
“He was compassionate, ethical, brilliant and humble. A colleague and a friend to all of us, he leaves behind a legacy of selfless service to his beloved community.”
“He was a great physician, but even more so, an extraordinary man.”
[Image via YouTube]