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Joseph E. Murray

Joseph E. MurrayBorn: 1-Apr-1919
Birthplace: Milford, MA
Died: 26-Nov-2012
Location of death: Boston, MA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Religion: Christian
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Doctor, Scientist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Kidney transplants

Military service: US Army (1st Lt.)

Joseph E. Murray pioneered organ transplants by swapping kidneys between dogs and observing how long the animals survived -- usually not long at all. The dogs' immune system invariably rejected the new organ, he noted, unless the donor and recipient were closely related. On 23 Dec 1954, he performed the first successful human kidney transplant, inserting one of Ronald Herrick's healthy kidneys into his identical twin brother, Richard Herrick, who had end-stage renal failure. The surgery made national news, and both brothers emerged from the hospital healthy.

After the development of drugs that eased rejection of "foreign" organs, Murray performed the first kidney transplant between non-twins in 1959. In 1962 he performed the first successful installation of a kidney from a corpse into a living human. Murray was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1990, sharing the honor with E. Donnall Thomas, who developed bone marrow transplantation. Murray died in 2012.

Father: William Andrew Murray (attorney)
Mother: Mary DePasquale Murray (school teacher)
Wife: Virginia Link ("Bobby", musician, m. 1945, three sons, three daughters)
Son: Richard Murray
Son: J. Link Murray
Son: Thomas Murray
Daughter: Virginia Murray
Daughter: Margaret Murray Dupont
Daughter: Katherine Murray Leisure

    High School: Milford High School, Milford, MA (1936)
    University: College of the Holy Cross (1940)
    Medical School: Harvard Medical School (1943)
    Professor: Surgery, Harvard Medical School (1970-86)

    Federation of American Scientists Board of Sponsors
    Nobel Prize for Medicine 1990 (with E. Donnall Thomas)
    English Ancestry Paternal
    Irish Ancestry Paternal
    Italian Ancestry Maternal

Author of books:
Surgery of the Soul: Reflections on a Curious Career (2003, autobiography)


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