Houston Treasures

O. Howard “Bud” Frazier, M.D.


Photo by: Gittings

frazier bud

For more than 30 years, Dr. O.H. (Bud) Frazier has been a pioneer in the treatment of severe heart failure, particularly in the fields of heart transplantation and artificial devices used either to replace or to assist the human heart. As a result of his work, the Texas Heart Institute (THI), where he directs the Center for Cardiac Support, has one of the top ransplantation and mechanical circulatory support programs in the world. Dr. Frazier has performed over 1,200 heart transplants and implanted more than 1,000 heart-assist devices, more than any other surgeon in the world. In addition to his clinical and research contributions, he has authored or co-authored more than 1,300 scientific publications and presented over 900 lectures around the world. For his unselfish dedication to the medical profession, he has received numerous honors, including the Living Legend Award from the World Society of Cardiothoracic Surgeons.

Dr. Frazier was born in Stephenville, Texas, graduated from the University of Texas, and earned his medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine. His surgical training was interrupted by the Vietnam War. He served as a U.S. Army flight surgeon from 1968 to 1970, trading the halls of Baylor for an assault helicopter company. For his bravery and exceptional service, he received the Combat Flight Medal, the Vietnamese Navy Medal, and the Vietnamese Distinguished Service Medal. After his military service, he returned to Houston to complete his specialty training in general surgery at Baylor under Dr. Michael DeBakey and his residency in thoracic and cardiovascular surgery under Dr. Denton Cooley at THI. Dr. Frazier has been named a distinguished alumnus of both UT and Baylor.

Outside the operating room, Dr. Frazier enjoys his family. He is married to his college sweetheart, Rachel Merriman Frazier. They have two accomplished children: Todd Frazier, a composer, and Allison Frazier Balser, a creative writer, and four grandchildren whom Dr. Frazier adores. He also reads voraciously—in all the arts and sciences. He memorizes Shakespeare and writes poetry. The wall-to-ceiling bookshelves in his office and home libraries are overflowing with his diverse collection—from contemporary to antiquarian and rare books. He has already donated some of his rare volumes to UT’s Briscoe Center and to Baylor.

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