Dr. Prof. Chris Barnard. In 1967 he led the surgical team that performed the first human-to-human heart transplant.
Hamilton Naki became a self-taught surgeon of such skill that Dr. Christiaan Barnard chose him to assist in the world's first human heart transplant in 1967.  His contribution was kept secret for three decades because he was a black man in apartheid-era South Africa. He acquired his surgical skills through years of silent observation and covert practice at the university's medical school. His skills were so esteemed that the university quietly looked the other way.
This is Dr. Christian Barnard. He performed the world's first human heart transplant operation on 3 December 1967 in S. Africa. The patient was a 54-year-old man suffering from incurable heart disease. Barnard later wrote, "If a lion chases you to the bank of a river filled with crocodiles, you will leap in, convinced you can swim to the other side." The donor heart came from a woman who had been brain damaged in an accident.  The doctor marveled, 'It works.' The patient lived for 18 days.
Denise Darvall; The Donor for the first  Heart Transplant Operation by HiltonT, via Flickr - This Day in History: Dec 3, 1967: First human heart transplant
Dr. Christiaan Barnard, the famed South African surgeon who performed the world's first human heart transplant on 53-year-old Louis Washkansky in 1967. He died in Cyprus in 2001.
Christiaan Barnard - Famous for performing the first human-to-human heart transplant in 1967, the South African ended his surgical career in 1983 when RA in his hands made it impossible for him to continue operating. Barnard was first diagnosed with RA in 1956.    An outspoken critic of apartheid, he said he never won the Nobel Prize because he was "a white South African."
Dr Chris Barnard performs the world’s first human heart transplant | South African History Online
South African stamp to commemorate the first human heart transplant performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard and his team in 1967
Dec. 2, 1982: Sixty-one-year-old Barney Clark became the first to receive a permanent  artificial heart.  The procedure was performed at the University of Utah.  Clark was too old to qualify for a human heart transplant. Clark lived for 112 days on the artificial heart.