Did You Know? Dr. Cooley Would Be 101 This Year

101 years ago on August 22, 1920, Mary Fraley Cooley gave birth at Houston’s Baptist Hospital to a baby boy. Her obstetrician was Dr. Ernst William Bertner, one of the founders of the Texas Medical Center. You may recognize him from the avenue that bears his name. The baby was named Denton Arthur Cooley after his uncles, Denton and Arthur.

In 1963, he wrote a letter to his mother on the occasion of his 43rd birthday. He had grown up to be a cardiac surgeon and had just founded the Texas Heart Institute the year before. The letter expressed his warm feelings for her.

Dear Mother:

Thank you for your most recent letter. I have been thinking about you all day and thinking how fortunate I was to have been so blessed right from that first day, August 22, 1920. I only hope that I can do for my children what you have done for me.

Love always,

The letter was included in one of the scrapbooks Dr. Cooley’s mother kept of his press coverage during those early years of his skyrocketing career.