World-renowned heart surgeon dies

Lawrence Cohn, MD, a renowned cardiologist, died Sunday of a stroke at 78 years old.

Dr. Cohn died at Boston-based Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he carved a celebrated career as a heart surgeon, according to The Boston Globe. Dr. Cohn was known as a pioneer of minimally invasive heart valve surgeries, performed more than 11,000 surgeries throughout his tenure and participated in New England's first heart transplant, according to his profile in the Globe.

He passed on this expertise to others, by being a mentor to many who went on to lead cardiology departments around the country and the globe. He wrote more than 400 papers and was lauded with many awards, including the prestigious Paul Dudley White Award from the American Heart Association. Cambridge, Mass.-based Harvard University also awarded him an honorary master of medicine and the University of Paris awarded him an honorary doctorate.

A San Francisco native, Dr. Cohn earned his bachelor's in American history at University of California Berkeley and went to Stanford (Calif.) School of Medicine. He trained at Boston City Hospital, the National Institutes for Health and at Stanford. He was then recruited to Brigham and Women's by the "legendary Boston heart surgeon" John Collins, Jr., MD, who called Dr. Cohn one of his greatest recruits, according to The Boston Globe.

Dr. Cohn was actively involved in the community and known for his attention to both staff and patients. His wife, Roberta, who met him at age 11, said Dr. Cohn told people, "'I fix broken hearts,'" according to the Globe.

In addition to his wife, Dr. Cohn is survived by two daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson.


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