I'm Dr. Red Duke

978-1-62349-694-4 Cloth
6.12 x 9.25 x 0 in
284 pp. 60 b&w photos. Line art. Bib.
Pub Date: 09/05/2018


  • Cloth $30.00
James Henry “Red” Duke Jr., MD, was an icon of twentieth-century medicine, a pioneer and visionary, and a lifelong son of Texas who, far from forgetting his roots, reveled in them. Bryant Boutwell’s entertaining and meticulously researched biography of Red Duke, based on years of interviews with Duke and his family, friends, and colleagues as well as painstaking exploration of both public archives and personal papers and effects, not only pays tribute to a great surgeon and his influence but also crafts a detailed and intimate portrait of the man behind the larger-than-life television image.

Not only did Duke found the Life Flight air ambulance service that helped place Memorial Hermann Hospital and the Texas Medical Center at the forefront of the nation’s trauma units, he also advanced the use of media communications for reaching the public with both common-sense and cutting-edge health information. His famous tagline—“From the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston . . . I’m Dr. Red Duke”—delivered in the deadpan drawl of a Texan, could be heard in countless homes during the broadcast of the local evening news during the 1980s and 1990s. Beyond these accomplishments, Duke was an Eagle Scout, an ordained minister, a medical missionary, a conservationist, a hunting guide, and a tank commander.

Featuring a wealth of previously unpublished images that help to chronicle Duke’s life and storied career, I’m Dr. Red Duke opens with a foreword by fellow Houstonian George H. W. Bush, who calls Duke “one of the brightest Points of Light Barbara and I have had the privilege to know.”

Published by Texas A&M University Press