Alexis Carrel, recipient of the 1912 Nobel Prize in Medicine, was born in a small town near Lyon, France, on June 28, 1873. His father, a wealthy textile manufacturer, died when he was 5 years old. He was educated in Jesuit schools and entered medical school in 1890, at the age of 17. During the 1890s, Carrel interned at several hospitals near Lyon and was described as a “good but not brilliant student.”1 He decided early to pursue a career in surgery and his research interest was peaked by an assassination in 1894. Sadi Carnot, the president of the French Republic, was stabbed in the abdomen while visiting Lyon and exsanguinated with a severed portal vein. The general opinion of the time was that major vascular injuries were beyond the surgeon’s capability to repair. Carrel, however, felt that anastomosis of blood vessels, as with any other organ, should be possible with the correct technique.