Dr. Christiaan Barnard
Name at birth: Christiaan Neethling Barnard
Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first human heart transplant on 3 December 1967. The patient, 53-year-old dentist Louis Washkansky, was given the heart of a 25-year-old auto crash victim named Denise Darvall. Washkansky died from infection 18 days later, but the transplant made Barnard one of the world's most famous surgeons. He died in 2001 while vacationing in Cyprus, following an asthma attack.