Prof Dr Med Erich Mühe of Böblingen, Germany, performed the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy on September 12, 1985. The German Surgical Society rejected Mühe in 1986 after he reported that he had performed the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy, yet in 1992 he received their highest award, the German Surgical Society Anniversary Award. In 1990 in Atlanta, at the Society of American Gastrointestinal Surgeons (SAGES) Convention, Perissat, Berci, Cuschieri, Dubois, and Mouret were recognized by SAGES for performing early laparoscopic cholecystectomies, but Mühe was not. However, in 1999 he was recognized by SAGES for having performed the first laparoscopic cholecystectomy-SAGES invited Mühe to present the Storz Lecture. In Mühe's presentation, titled "The First Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy," which he gave in March 1999 in San Antonio, Texas, he described the first procedure. Finally, Mühe had received the worldwide acclaim that he deserved for his pioneering work. One purpose of this article is to trace the development of the basic instruments used in laparoscopic cholecystectomy. The other purpose is to give Mühe the recognition he deserves for being the developer of the laparoscopic cholecystectomy procedure.