H. Edward Garrett, gentleman, clinician, scholar, and surgeon extraordinaire, died on May 8, 1996, of the consequences of chronic hepatitis, which he contracted while caring for his fellow man. This unique individual was instrumental in developing vascular surgery as a specialty. He was a member of the small committee that established vascular training in the United States and was the principal member of the American Board of Surgery to write the original examination for Certification of Special Qualifications in General Vascular Surgery. The subscribers and readers of this Journal are indebted to Dr. Garrett, for it was while he was President of the Society for Vascular Surgery in 1982 that the presidents of the joint council appointed an ad hoc committee for the formation of a journal devoted to vascular surgery, that is, the Journal of Vascular Surgery.
Ed was born in Pensacola, Fla., in 1926 and attended Pensacola High School, where he graduated in 1944. He entered the service for a brief tour at the end of World War II and returned to attend Auburn University in Alabama, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree and was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He attended Emory University School of Medicine, where he met and married Christine Hambric in 1951, and he graduated in 1953, serving as president of Alpha Omega Alpha Honorary Society. Dr. Garrett served 2 ½ years of general surgery residency at Vanderbilt University before serving 2 years in the Army Medical Corps in a MASH unit during the Korean War. He received the Commendation Ribbon and Pendant medal for bravery after a daring rescue of wounded civilians behind enemy lines. After discharge from the army, he completed his training in general and thoracic surgery at Baylor University under the direction of Dr. Michael DeBakey.
On completion of his training, Dr. Garrett was appointed to the faculty at Baylor University and for 6 years personally directed Dr. DeBakey's clinical service when it was at the height of activity. During this period, he performed the world's first successful coronary artery bypass procedure in 1964 and published the first series of bypass operations to arteries below the knee in 1965. In 1967, he moved to Memphis, Tenn., where for 5 years he served as Chairman of the Section of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the University of Tennessee, and from 1982 to 1992 served as Chief of Vascular Surgery.
Dr. Garrett was a member of both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery. He practiced as a member of the medical staff of Baptist Memorial Hospital and served as Chief of Staff. He was a member of numerous surgical organizations, including the American Surgical Association, the Southern Surgical Association, the Society for Vascular Surgery, the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society for Thoracic Surgery, and the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery's North American Chapter. He served as President of the Society for Vascular Surgery in 1982; was a founding member and President of the Southern Association for Vascular Surgery in 1989; and was President of the Michael E. DeBakey International Cardiovascular Society in 1990. He received the John Gibbon Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1989 from the American Society of Extracorporeal Technology (AMSECT).
Ed was a devoted husband, and he and Chris were the parents of four lovely children: Ed, Chris, Ann, and John, and are fortunate in having eight grandchildren. Their favorite pastime was companionship with their family, be it at their beautiful home in Memphis or at their fishing camp in Cocodrie, La.
Ed was a highly respected surgeon whose pioneering efforts gave growing acceptance of vascular surgery as a freestanding specialty. He contributed his skills in cardiovascular surgery to a broad spectrum of patients with compassion and perseverance of intent. It is hoped that this nobleness will be transmitted to those he trained and to his fellow specialists. We will miss this wise and tolerant leader, but will reflect on his achievements as a true stimulus.
Author of Memoriam for Dr. Garrett, Sr.: John L. Ochsner, MD