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James Maloney
In Memoriam

James Maloney

Professor Emeritus of Cardiothoracic

UC Los Angeles

James V Maloney, Jr., M.D., a pioneering heart surgeon, died on August 18th of natural causes. He performed the first successful open heart surgery west of the Mississippi in 1956 at UCLA, at a time when it was inconceivable that a heart could be intentionally stopped and restarted without the patient dying. In 1958, at the invitation of Professor Fritz Linder of Berlin, he performed the first open-heart operations in Germany. Dr. Maloney was born in Rochester, NY in 1925, the son of Dr. James V. Maloney and Frances Buckley Maloney. He graduated from high school at age 16, after skipping two grades, and entered the University of Pennsylvania. Under wartime pressure, he finished his undergraduate course work in 15 months and went on to the University of Rochester medical school on a Navy commission. He required his parents' permission to join the Navy, because it was against regulations to commission an officer who was only 17 years of age. Dr. Maloney did his residency and Chief Residency at Johns Hopkins under Alfred Blalock, M.D., at a time when cardiac surgery was in its infancy. Dr. Maloney was offered an assistant professorship at Hopkins, but turned it down for a position at the then brand-new UCLA Medical Center. He was Chief of Cardiothoracic Surgery at UCLA for 21 years, and then served as Chairman of the Department of Surgery from 1976 to 1981.

During his career he published more than 200 scientific papers. After retirement from clinical work, he developed and patented a new heart bypass machine. He served as President of the Society of University Surgeons, the American Surgical Association, and the Society of Clinical Surgeons. He was a member of the Board of Regents of the American College of Surgeons. He was a Trustee and Chairman of the Board of Harvard-Westlake School. He gave a number of named lectures, including the John H. Gibbon Jr. lecture of the American College of Surgeons and the Richardson lecture at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Maloney's awards included a Markle Scholarship, Citation of Merit of the German Medical Association, honorary Fellowship in the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, and an honorary Doctor of Science from his alma mater, the University of Rochester.

Growing up in Rochester, Dr. Maloney learned to ski on a local hill with a rope tow powered by an automobile engine. On Lake Ontario, he fell in love with sailing. His move to Southern California after the war let him sail even in winter. After his retirement, he sailed much of the world with his wife of 57 years, Patricia Keller. He was a strong family man, and shared his love of skiing, sailing, hunting and fishing with his family. Dr. Maloney is survived by his loving wife, Patricia, and four children: Robert (Nicole), William (Ninni), Marcia Maloney Newby (Jon), and Thomas (Meg). He also leaves 9 grandchildren and a brother, Robert.