Edward S. Cooper, M.D. Emeritus Professor of Medicine
University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine
Past President, American Heart Association
Edward Sawyer Cooper, M.D., was born in Columbia, S.C., 12-11-26, to late Ada Sawyer Cooper and H. Howard Cooper, Sr., D.D.S. He earned an A.B. from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania and M.D. from Meharry Medical College, with highest honors.
He completed his internship, medical residency and cardiology fellowship at the former Philadelphia General Hospital (PGH). Following his training he joined the physician staff of PGH and was appointed to the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (UPSM) in 1958. He subsequently served as president of the PGH medical staff as well as chief of the UPSM medical service at the hospital. He was co-founder and co-director of the Stroke Research Center at PGH and in 1972 he became the first tenured African-American physician/professor at the UPSM, the nations oldest medical school. In addition, from 1956 to 1996, Dr. Cooper maintained a private practice in the field of internal medicine and stroke prevention, at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He retired and Emeritus Professor status was conferred on January 1, 1996.
In June 1992 Dr. Cooper became the first African-American president of the American Heart Association (AHA), an organization he had served for over 30 years. He chaired the Stroke Council Association as well as the writing committee that produced the AHA's scientific statement: Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke in African-American and Other Racial Minorities.
He has published widely; served on the editorial boards of several medical journals; and lectured as a visiting professor and invited speaker on numerous occasions both in this country and abroad. He is co-editor of the book, Stroke in Blacks, which was released in 1999. He has served extensively on national and local committees and commissions dealing with issues of stroke and cardiovascular prevention.
Dr. Cooper's many awards include the American Heart Association Gold Heart Award, the AHA's highest national award; the Charles Drew Award for Distinguished Contribution to Minority Education; the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Education; and the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Edna Kynett Memorial Award in 2003. The American Heart Association Edward S. Cooper Award is given at a special dinner each year at its annual meeting and an annual visiting lectureship is sponsored by the Department of Medicine in his honor. A professorship has been commissioned in his name by UPSM.