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The Stolen Heart with Chip Jones, Author of The Organ Thieves

Chip Jones, author of The Organ Thieves: The Shocking Story of the First Heart Transplant in the Segregated South and winner of the 2021 Library of Virginia Literary Award for Nonfiction, speaks with host Richard Levick of LEVICK about this tragic true story. In 1968, in Richmond, Virginia, Bruce Tucker, a middle aged African American family man, had his heart and kidney harvested after an accident, without consent or even notification to his family and before he was clinically dead. To this day, there has been no compensation paid to the family. Virginia Commonwealth University, who’s predecessor teaching hospital was the site of this medical atrocity, still struggles over half a century later with how to deal with this properly. A society which turned a blind eye to teaching hospitals regularly robbing the graves of African Americans and treating the sacred as so much commerce, struggles with this legacy to this day. Chip has been reporting for nearly thirty years for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Roanoke Times and other publications. As a reporter for The Roanoke Times, he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his work on the Pittston coal strike. He is the former communications director of the Richmond Academy of Medicine, where he first discovered the story behind The Organ Thieves.