Thomas E. Starzl, whose bold vision, boundless energy and unflagging self-confidence resulted in dramatic and pioneering advances in organ transplantation and anti-rejection medicines that saved thousands of lives, died in his sleep Saturday at his home in Oakland. He was 90.
Dr. Starzl performed the world’s first liver transplant in Denver in 1963 and Pittsburgh’s first liver transplant in 1981 after moving there at the end of 1980. He was the surgeon who performed the world’s first heart-liver transplant in 1984, replacing those organs in Stormie Jones, a Texas girl who died in 1990 at age 13. And, in 1987, he led the five-organ transplant operation on Tabatha Foster, who survived for six months.Share