Chip Jones discusses his new book, ‘The Organ Thieves’

Our chapter co-hosted journalist Chip Jones in an online discussion of his recent book “The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South.” The event was held Feb. 25 in partnership with VCU Libraries.

Chip, a Pulitzer-nominated writer, reported for the Roanoke Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch and other publications. His book explored the first heart transplant at the Medical College of Virginia in 1968. For that operation, the heart was taken from the body of a deceased Black man, Bruce Tucker, without prior consent. That led to the nation’s first wrongful death lawsuit over heart transplantation brought by a young Black trial lawyer named L. Douglas Wilder.

Chip’s book, described as “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” meets “Get Out,” has received rave reviews from book critics, scholars and even baseball legend Derek Jeter, who called it a “fascinating and alarming slice of history.”

Published by SPJ Virginia Pro

SPJ is the nation’s most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to encouraging the free practice of journalism and stimulating high standards of ethical behavior. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry through the daily work of its nearly 10,000 members; works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press through its advocacy efforts.

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