John Ochsner

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John Lockwood Ochsner, Sr.

(Pioneering cardiac surgeon in New Orleans, Louisiana)

Political party Republican

Born February 10, 1927
Died July 6, 2018 (aged 91)
New Orleans, Louisiana
Spouse Mary Lou Ochsner

Four children:
John Ochsner, Jr.
Joby Ochsner
Dr. Katherine Isabel Ochsner
Frank Ochsner
Alton, Sr., and Isabel Ochsner

John Lockwood Ochsner, Sr. (February 10, 1927 – July 6, 2018), was a cardiac surgeon based in New Orleans, Louisiana, who pioneered in heart valve and coronary surgery, the use of artificial pacemakers, and heart, lung, and liver transplants. He performed the first heart transplant in Louisiana in 1970.

Educated at Tulane University in New Orleans, Ochsner completed his residency at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital, both in Houston, Texas. He had retired from surgery in 2004 but continued to see patients thereafter.[1] A pioneer in open heart surgery from infancy to old age, Ochsner specialized in the internal mammary artery as part of the coronary bypass operation and convinced other surgeons that this procedure while it would take longer for the surgery, would last longer. As of 2018, the Ochsner Hospital had performed nearly one thousand transplants. Ochsner was the only heart surgeon to be president of three medical societies, including the American Association for Thoracic Surgery from 1992 to 1993, president of the International Society for Cardiovascular Surgery, and chairman of the American Board of Thoracic Surgery from 1993 to 1995. He authored more than three hundred papers published in leading medical journals. His John Ochsner Heart and Vascular Institute is home to fifty cardiologists who serve the Gulf South.[2] In 1990, Dr. Ochsner played the role of Rex, king of Carnival; he was known for his knowledge of carnival and his passion for Mardi Gras.[2]

His father, Alton Ochsner, Sr. (May 4, 1896 – September 24, 1981), a native of South Dakota, was also a heart surgeon and medical researcher affiliated with Tulane University and other area hospitals. In 1941, Alton Ochsner established The Ochsner Clinic, now known as Ochsner Medical Center, which performs heart transplants. The facility is located in suburban Jefferson Parish across the Mississippi River from New Orleans. There are also other Ochsner facilities across South Louisiana.

He is survived by his wife, Mary Lou Ochsner, and four children. His mother, the late Isabel Ocshner, also had two other sons, both deceased, and a namesake daughter, Isabel Mann, who survived her brother.[2]


  1. John Ochsner, renowned cardiac surgeon, dead at 91. Laredo Morning Times (July 6, 2018). Retrieved on July 9, 2018.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Dr. John Lockwood Ochsner. The New Orleans Times-Picayune (July 10, 2018). Retrieved on July 10, 2018.