Other Notable deaths

October 24, 2007


Surgeon, trauma expert

Dr. G. Tom Shires, a leading surgeon and expert on trauma who carried out groundbreaking research, helped create the largest burn center in New York City and trained two generations of surgical leaders, died of gastrointestinal cancer Thursday in Henderson, Nev., said his son, George Thomas Shires III.

At his death, Dr. Shires was director of the Trauma Institute of the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Las Vegas. Previously, he was the chief surgeon or chairman of the surgery department at several institutions, and was dean at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York.

Earlier in his career, he was chief of surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, when President John F. Kennedy was taken there after being shot by Lee Harvey Oswald on Nov. 22, 1963. Although efforts to save Mr. Kennedy were futile, Dr. Shires successfully operated on Gov. John B. Connally Jr. of Texas, who was wounded in the shooting.

It was Dr. Shires who issued a statement that evening saying, "Medically, it was apparent the president was not alive when he was brought in," adding, "I am absolutely sure he never knew what hit him."

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