May 14, 1918 - February 19, 2003
James Hardy and his twin brother, Julian, were born and reared in Newala, Alabama, 3 miles east of Montevallo. He attended the consolidated grammar school nearby which had 3 rooms for the 6 grades, then attended high school in Montevallo. James received his BA from the University of Alabama in 1938, and his MD in 1942 from the University of Pennsylvania, and continued there for his surgical residency and junior faculty experience. In 1951, he became Director of Surgical Research at the University of Tennessee in Memphis. Three years later he became the first chairman of the Department of Surgery at the new University of Mississippi Medical School in Jackson, serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1987.
As a surgeon, researcher, teacher, and author Dr. Hardy made signal contributions to medicine over his long career.
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In 1963 Dr. Hardy and co-workers did the first human lung transplant. In 1964 he and co-workers excised a living human heart for the first time and performed the first heart transplant in a human utilizing a chimpanzee heart. The procedure emphasized the need for generally accepted criteria for brain death so donor organs could be secured.
Dr. Hardy trained over 200 surgeons. He authored, co-authored, or edited 23 books, including 2 that became standard surgical texts, and 2 autobiographies; published over 500 articles in medical journals; and served on numerous editorial boards and as editor-in-chief of the World Journal of Surgery
Among numerous other honors James Hardy served as president of the Southern Surgical Association, the American Surgical Association, the American College of Surgeons, the International Surgical Society, and the Society of University Surgeons.