James "Red" Duke
James Henry "Red" Duke, Jr. (born November 16, 1928) is a trauma surgeon and professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. He has been working on-site since 1972.
Duke was born in Ennis, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas where he served as a yell leader. He was the first person to deliver the poem "The Last Corps Trip" publicly.
Duke has had years of achievement in the field of medicine. He was instrumental in introducing Memorial Hermann's "Life Flight" and bringing a Level 1 Trauma Unit to Houston, both of which was first for Texas and Southeast Texas, respectively. Outside of Texas, he is probably most famous for running a nationally syndicated television spot called "Dr. Red Duke's Health Reports", which aired for fifteen years. The spot educated millions about various health-related topics, a different subject for each day. He is well-recognized for his distinctive Texan accent, ever-present large mustache and "Duke-isms" (like his popular segment sign-off "For your health!").
Duke was also the first surgeon to receive President John F. Kennedy after being shot and taken to Dallas Parkland Hospital, and attended to the wounds of then Texas Governor John Connally, who was shot at the same time John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963.
Recently, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston Department of Surgery sponsored a scholarship fund in honor of Dr. "Red" Duke, aimed towards students wishing to research and train in the field of trauma.
"Red" graduated from Hillsboro High School and later earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University in 1950. After a two-year tour of duty as a tank officer in the 2nd Armored Division of the U.S. Army, he went on to earn a divinity degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1955. However, "Red's" lifelong desire to become a doctor prevailed and he enrolled in the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, from which he received his M.D. in 1960. Dr. Duke completed his internship in internal medicine and his residency in general surgery at Dallas' Parkland Memorial Hospital in 1965.
Dr. Duke's academic career began in 1966 as an assistant professor of surgery at UT Southwestern Medical School and later at the College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. He also took some time to pursue graduate studies in chemical engineering, biochemistry and computer sciences at Columbia University under the auspices of an NIH Special Fellowship. While Dr. Duke was an assistant professor of surgery in New York, he had the opportunity to move his family and career to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, as a visiting professor, and later chairman of surgery at Nangarhar University School of Medicine from 1970-1972.
After returning from Afghanistan, Dr. Duke joined the faculty of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston where he is a professor of surgery. Among his many responsibilities, Dr. Duke has served as special assistant to the president of the UT Health Science Center and holds one of the distinguished professorships at the UT Medical School as the John B. Holmes Professor of Clinical Sciences. He established Houston's Hermann Hospital Life Flight operations in 1976 and remains the medical director of its trauma and emergency services.
Dr. Duke is a founding member of the American Trauma Society and is an advanced trauma life support instructor for the American College of Surgeons. He was named "Surgeon of the Year' by the James F. Mitchell Foundation in 1988. Dr. Duke's extraordinary efforts to educate the public in health issues and tireless work as a crusader against trauma brought him into serious consideration for the position of Surgeon General of the United States in 1989.
Duke is also noted outside of the medical community. Not only did he attain the rank of Eagle Scout, but the Boy Scouts of America honored him with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. As founder and past president of the Texas Bighorn Society, Dr. Duke is a major supporter of many wildlife conservation groups. He has been the president of the Boone and Crockett Club, the oldest conservation organization in the United States, and the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep.
Dr. Duke is also one of the most recognized television personalities in his field, as determined by the Gallup Organization, Inc. He is the former host of the nationally syndicated Texas Health Reports and hosted the former PBS series Bodywatch. Dr. Duke has been featured on such programs as PM Magazine, NBC Nightly News, The Today Show and the Buck James television series.
- Red Duke - iSB Keynote Speakers and Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-02-13.
- "JAMES HENRY "RED" DUKE, JR., M.D.". University of Texas Medical School at Houston. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- James H. "Red" Duke, Jr
- "Warren Commission Hearings, Volume VI - Testimony of Dr. Jackie Hansen Hunt". Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- "Warren Commission Hearings, Volume IV - Testimony of Dr. Robert Roeder Shaw". Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- "Warren Commission Hearings, Volume XX - Giesecke Exhibit No. 1". Retrieved 2008-03-02.
- "Gala to Honor Dr. Red Duke, Raise Scholarship Funds for UT Medical School". University of Texas. Retrieved 2007-07-18.
- "Distinguished Eagle Scouts". Scouting.org. Retrieved 2010-11-04.