HOUSTON — Dr. James “Red” Duke Jr., the surgeon who treated then-Texas Gov. John Connally after the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, died Tuesday, his family said in a statement to CNN Houston affiliate KPRC.
Duke, who also pioneered the air ambulance service Life Flight, was 86.
— KPRC 2 Houston (@KPRC2) August 26, 2015
Duke was the first surgeon to receive President John F. Kennedy at Parkland Hospital after Kennedy was assassinated while traveling in a Dallas motorcade on November 22, 1963.
Duke also attended to then-Gov. John Connally, who was seriously wounded while sitting in the open car with the Kennedys.
Connally died in 1993.
The Duke family’s statement said:
“To countless colleagues, friends and patients, he was a skilled physician, innovative healthcare provider, exceptional communicator and dedicated conservationist. We, however, mourn him as a caring father, grandfather and devoted brother who will be deeply missed by his family.”
Duke was affiliated with both the UT Health Science Center and Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.