Physician; medical educator; pioneer in cardiac surgery.  Born– Aug. 5, 1917, Muncie, Ind.  Parents–Byrl R. and Gladys Webster Kirklin. Married–Margaret Katherine Hair.  Children–three. Education– University of Minnesota, B.A., 1938; Harvard University, M.D., 1942; diplomas from the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Thoracic Surgery, 1950. Captain, US Army, 1944-46. Surgeon and teacher at the Mayo Graduate School of Medicine and University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, 1950-1966; professor, Dept. chairman, surgeon-in-chief of hospitals and clinics, University of Alabama in Birmingham, 1966-1998. Credited with the enhancement of the heart-lung machine, making cardiac surgery possible. Published more than 700 articles in medical journals. Edited the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery for many years. Member, American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, and multiple professional organizations. Awarded the Lister Medal by the Royal College of Surgeons, 1972. Awarded honorary degrees by eight universities, including the University of Munich and Hamline University. Awarded emeritus status on his retirement at UAB in 1998. The Kirklin Clinic at UAB is named in his honor.  Died April 21, 2004.


American Men and Women of Science, 1979; obituary.


Cardiac Surgery and the Conduction System. New York; Wiley, 1983.

Systems Analysis in Surgical Patients …. Glasgow, Scotland; University of Glasgow, 1970.

The Tetralogy of Fallout from a Surgical Viewpoint. Philadelphia; Saunders, 1970.


Advances in Cardiovascular Surgery. New York; Grune & Stratton, 1973.