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John Cordice, NYC Surgeon Who Helped Save Martin Luther King Jr., Dead At 95

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (credit: AFP/Getty Images)

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (credit: AFP/Getty Images)


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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A New York City surgeon who was part of the medical team that saved the Rev.¬†Martin Luther King Jr. from a nearly fatal stab wound in 1958 has died at the age of 95.

Dr. John W.V. Cordice was formerly an attending surgeon and chief of thoracic surgery at Harlem Hospital Center, where the civil rights leader had life-saving surgery after being attacked by a mentally disturbed woman at a book-signing event.

Cordice died Sunday.

His death was announced Tuesday by the city’s Health and Hospitals Corp., which oversees Harlem Hospital.

Cordice was one of a group of surgeons who removed a seven-inch letter opener from King’s chest following the attack.

He practiced medicine in New York City for 40 years and lived in Harlem and Queens.

“He was a brilliant clinical practitioner, a wise and thoughtful teacher, and a man of deep and abiding kindness and quiet modesty,” said city Health and Hospitals Corp. President Alan D. Aviles. “It is entirely consistent with his character that many who knew him may well not have known that he was also a part of history.”

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