Cooley, Thomas Benton (1871–1945), American pediatrician. Cooley was one of the first modern pediatricians and a founder of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Interested in the etiology of childhood diseases, he focused his research on hematology and the anemias. His most important contribution was the identification of the familial anemia that bears his name. In 1927 Cooley, E. R. Witwer, and O. P. Lee described this anemia, frequently called thalassemia, that at first was thought to occur only in children of Mediterranean stock.