First physician to perform a heart surgery in West Texas dies - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/10/09

First physician to perform a heart surgery in West Texas dies

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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The first physician to perform a heart surgery in West Texas died Wednesday morning at the Lubbock Heart Hospital.

Dr. John H. "Jack" Selby, 89, died of complications of Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS).

Selby earned a doctor of medicine degree from the Boston University Medical School in 1944 and completed a post-doctoral degree in surgery at the University of Pennsylvania in 1949.

Selby worked as a surgeon at Methodist Hospital and St. Mary of the Plains Hospital - both now Covenant - and University Medical Center. He helped 35,000 patients in his long tenure, he estimated.

Selby was a clinical professor of surgery at the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine from 1973 to 2003. He retired from surgery in 1986, Carolyn Selby said.

Among dozens of awards received by the physician was a 1985 Lubbock-Crosby-Garza County Medical Society Hippocratic Award for Doctor of the Year.

Selby served on dozens of professional and civic groups, including the Lubbock Board of Health, the Lubbock Area Foundation, the Lubbock Rotary Club and the Lubbock Chapter of the American Heart Association.

He was equally involved in statewide medical groups.

Born Nov. 11, 1919, in Springfield, Mass., Selby graduated from Dartmouth College in 1941 with a degree in chemistry and zoology. He married his wife, Carolyn, on Feb. 14, 1970.

Selby is survived by four children from a previous marriage, 12 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and four great-great-grandchildren.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, 1411 Broadway.

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