From WNYC News:
Honoring the Man Who Helped Save Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life
Thursday, September 27, 2012
By Tracie Hunte
Fifty-four years ago this month, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Harlem signing copies of his book, when a mentally disturbed woman plunged a steel letter opener into his chest.
The wound punctured his sternum, mere inches away from his aorta. King was taken to Harlem Hospital where his life and the course of history hung in the balance.
He recovered, of course, but was later assassinated in 1968. And now the last surviving member of the surgical team that saved his life is being honored by Harlem Hospital Thursday night as it unveils its historic WPA murals.
At 93, Dr. John Cordice has a slight build, close-cropped white hair and a friendly smile. He and his wife, Marguerite, celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on Monday and their home in Hollis, Queens, is filled with the flowers and greetings cards they exchanged.
He grew up in Durham, N.C., and moved to New York City in 1936. He earned his medical degree at New York University in 1943 and went on to serve as an Attending Surgeon and Chief of Thoracic Surgery at both Harlem Hospital and the Queens Hospital Center, according to the hospital.
He says on September 20, 1958, he was with his daughter in Brooklyn picking up mail at his office when he got a call from Harlem Hospital telling him an important person was suffering from a life-threatening injury.
“We raced on in to Harlem Hospital and when I went into the emergency room, of course, the crowd was beginning to gather and then I was informed that Dr. King had been injured,” Cordice said.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE.
Listen to Dr. Cordice in his own words: