Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

Transplant researcher

Thomas Starzl

The son of an Iowa newspaper editor and a nurse, Starzl planned to become a priest. But when his mother died from cancer, he turned instead to medicine. After getting his medical degree, he studied surgery. At the University of Colorado (1962-1981), he worked in a growing medical field: transplants. Starzl spent a lot of time studying livers: once someone’s liver failed, they were doomed to quickly die. He performed the first human liver transplant in 1963. As early failures in the procedures gave way to success, the big problem surgeons found was transplant rejection; in the 1970s, Starzl worked on that problem; he established that cyclosporine (and, later, other drugs) would keep the body from rejecting transplanted tissues. In 1981, he moved to the University of Pittsburgh and developed protocols to find, preserve, and transplant organs, and studied ways to stop or reverse inherited metabolic diseases (paving the way for gene therapies). Starzl was so prolific, the Institute for Scientific Information found in 1999 that Starzl’s work had been cited by other researchers more than any other researcher in the world. Starzl retired from surgery in 1991, and spent his time continuing his research, and teaching. Among other honors, he was awarded the National Medal of Science in 2004 by President George W. Bush, and the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences in 2016. Dr. Starzl died at his home in Pittsburgh on March 4, at 90.

From This is True for 5 March 2017


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

About the HUs
About This is True

Subscribe Free
to This is True
Your E-mail:


Oldest: Memory savior Miep Gies

Newest: Psychologist George Weinberg


Complete Name List

Prev: “Queen of Carbon” Mildred Dresselhaus

Next: Attorney for Underdogs William Genego

Complete Name List

Copyright 1998-2017 ThisIsTrue.Inc, all rights reserved. May not be copied or archived without express, prior, written permission. "This is True" is a registered trademark of ThisIsTrue.Inc, Ridgway Colorado.