Season 15, Episode 8 Partners of the Heart

First Aired: February 10, 2003

Chronicling the unlikely partnership between a white surgeon and a black “technician” that led to a procedure to correct blue-baby syndrome in 1944. The principals: Vivien Thomas, a black man with only a high-school diploma, and Alfred Blalock, the patrician chief of surgery at Johns Hopkins. Blalock pioneered the surgery to correct the congenital heart defect, but it was Thomas who devised to procedures that were used. And they did it at a time, narrator Morgan Freeman says, when the two “could not share the same lunch table in the Hopkins cafeteria.”

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  • Premiered: October 4, 1988
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • Premise: This much-honored PBS documentary series explores American history, one topic or person at a time. Its Peabody Award winners include profiles of FDR and Malcolm X, and such diverse topics as Nixon's 1972 trip to China, the controversy surrounding `Citizen… (more)

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