Dr. Leila Denmark: Turning 112


Dr. Leila Denmark is now 113.

I originally posted this when she turned 110. It’s with great excitement that I update her birthdays from year to year. Happy Birthday, Dr. Denmark! Thank you for your contribution!


Below is a previous post.

I was excited when I spoke to her daughter on yesterday because Dr. Denmark turned 112. They celebrated the historical event at Red Lobster. She is now the 24th oldest person in the world and the 10th oldest American.

The following is the original post.

Dr. Leila Denmark was born on February 1, 1898 in Bulloch County, Georgia. The year she was born, the average life expectancy in the U.S. was 49 years. Currently, she is the 67th oldest person in the world, according to the short list of super-centenarians (people at least 110 years old or older.)

Dr. Denmark was the 3rd female graduate of the Medical College of Georgia in 1928. She was one of the first female pediatricians in Atlanta and practiced medicine for more than 70 years. It has been estimated that Dr. Denmark treated more than 250,000 patients during her distinguished career. She is credited with being the co-developer of the Whooping Cough vaccine, which saved countless lives of children in the early part of the 20th Century.

When I first met Dr. Denmark in 2002, she was 104 years old, and had just closed her medical practice the previous year, at 103. At that time, she was the oldest practicing physician in America.

Over the years, I’ve learned many valuable life lessons by staying in contact with this legendary Atlanta doctor. Some of the lessons prompted me to do further investigation, and I have incorporated many of them into my daily life. Coming from Dr. Denmark, they were even more powerful because she has seen many years come and go. Here are a few tips she shared with me…

  • Don’t abuse your body with junk food
  • Love what you do
  • Drinking cow’s milk is dangerous
  • Do your best to help others
  • Too much sugar is not a good thing
  • A sense of humor is very important for longevity
  • As a doctor, it’s important to find the root cause of a problem
  • Children are not getting parental guidance and it’s wrecking this nation
  • Kids in daycare are deprived of attention and catch too many illnesses
  • We need to think about everything we eat and drink
  • “Let’s do” is easier than do
  • Anything you have to do is work and anything you love to do is play
  • During the Great Depression, 11,000 of America’s 25,000 banks closed (Save what you can, appreciate what you have.)
  • Never raise your hand or your voice to a child
  • Parenting has gone out of style
  • Children and adults should eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juices
  • Drink only water
  • The greatest change she’s seen in her lifetime has been the neglect of little children

This is what works for me: My wife and I no longer buy milk. She makes it from scratch using dates and almonds. I don’t buy fruit juices because once the juice has been pasteurized, the vitamin and mineral content have both been greatly reduced. I’ve cut back on my junk food consumption tremendously, and I no longer look at day care facilities the same. These changes may not help me to live as long as Dr. Denmark, but they WILL help me to live a healthier life.  ~Spark Plug

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Tags: Atlanta Bulloch County Dr. Leila Denmark Georgia Pediatrician

30 had something to say.
  1. Ollie McKay's

    Wow ~ she sounds like an incredible lady ~ and one who was also very smart!! So many true things she has to offer that would help our country right now! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Colin Perini

    Funny if it all boiled down to luck. There certainly never seems to be a consistent statement by the elderly that satisfies our curiosity regarding the key to old age!

  3. Maureen J. Quinn

    I have followed Dr. Denmark, bought lots of books for my nieces and use her as my secret role model.
    Love ...Love...Maureen

  4. PYNTK

    Yes, Dr. Denmark is quite a LADY!

  5. Faye Bailey

    There will never be another Dr. Denmark. In 1960 when I took my first child to her she charged $4.00 for an office visit. In 1972 when I took my second child she had gone up to $5.00!!! She never charged a minister to treat his children and worked every Thursday at a free clinic in Atlanta. If only there were more like her!

  6. Linda

    Dr. Denmark was my pediatrician as a young child and I took my children to her. She is a remarkable woman and doctor. The last time we visited her office, she still had all the pictures. My children found mine and their aunts pictures, plus some of theirs. Dr. Denmark - thank you for all you did for the Georgia children. Thank you for your deep faith and I love you. God Bless!!

  7. Sonya Peria

    This woman is amazing!!!! She treated my first son until she retired. In 2000, I think she still only charged something like $10 for visits and she took all the time you needed to chat and make you feel special. A wonderful woman indeed.

  8. Carrie Amerson

    Dr. Denmark saved my little brother's life...literally! My mother had seen EVERY pediatrician in the state of Georgia before she heard about this remarkable woman, who saved my brother with one simple visit. I will never forget her warmth and generosity; like others have said, she only charged a minimal fee, stayed with the patient as long as needed and took the best possible care of everyone she tended to. God bless Dr. Denmark!

  9. Carolyn Bookout Tallent

    Dr. Denmark is such a God sent doctor, she saved my son's life when he was 5 yrs old and she kept my daughter from suffering from milk allergies that I didn't know she had. If more doctors were like her, our country would be so much better and our lives would be so much more fulfilled. Thank you Dr. Denmark for using the knowledge God gave you to do all the right things. God bless you

  10. Naomihamrick@yahoo.com

    Dr. Denmark is a gift from God.. she has helped us so much with our Daughter and Grandson, I will never forget her, Much Love.. Naomi Hamrick

  11. Austin Watts

    I am a college student who stays away from sweets and soft drinks. I am one of the fittest people I know. As a toddler I was taken to see Dr. Denmark, and now the only suitable thing to drink is water, given any day or corporate setting I am in.

    Thanks Dr. Denmark.

  12. Becky Hitchcock reed

    God rest her precious soul!


    You are the reason my kids and I are where they are today, God bless you, Granny Denmark. Liz Whidby, Noah Whidby, Matthew Whidby and Kammie Whidby and their mother, Darbi Whidby and my son, Blake Whidby. We thank God for you. WOWOWOWOWWOWOWW Love and Prayers ... Sue & Rex Whidby

  14. Ariel

    She was my first doctor when I was a baby. I last visited her in 2003 and she was just as mentally sharp and bright as always!

  15. Pam Prochaska


  16. Pam Prochaska

    Thanks for all the time you took with all the children.

  17. Lisa

    Dr Denmark literally saved my life! I was 9 months old and weighed the same as when I was born! My parents went to every doctor they could and all said I was just "sick" and would be lucky to see my first birthday. That was 1978, they didn't have the machines they have now! A co-worker of my mother's told her about Dr. Denmark. When she brought me in to see her, Dr. Denmark looked at Mom and said, "Stop what you're doing NOW, follow my advice and your daughter will live. You've been stupid to listen to the quacks!" LOL! Mom did what she said and within 6 months, I had gained almost 15 pounds and was starting to crawl. I owe my life to her! Thank you, Dr. Denmark!!

  18. Vera

    My sister was a patient in the mid 50's and my daughter in the late 60's. She is the greatest doctor, ever! You are important to all my family and we all love you! Happy Birthday!

  19. Rosemarie Norton

    Dr. Denmark was my children's pediatrician (they are now 26, 24, 22 and 19). I will forever be grateful for all that she taught me. I believe that her principles are largely responsible for my strong, healthy children....and she always made me feel like a million bucks because I stayed with them. Even as my children grew older and I would occasionally visit her for a second opinion on something medical, she was (seriously!) always right. Her book is priceless, as much for the encouragement as the advice.

  20. Joyce Cook

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY to an exceptional lady/doctor!
    I can only hope I live as long as you have and keep my health. Hats off to you!!!

  21. Terri Lister

    Happy Birthday Dr. Denmark, we love you!
    I started coming to you when my second child of 8 children was around 9yrs.old. You are an amazing lady who truly cares about people, especially the little children. Thank you for all the wisdom you have imparted to thousands of people. I hope God has chosen someone to fill your shoes. Terri Lister, Fairmount,GA

  22. Sandra Cagle

    Dr. Denmark, what could I say that has not already been said. She is remarkable, a Dr. who cared not only for the patient, she cared for the parents too. We need more like her. Her dedication to what she did is astounding, a role model that we all should follow. Thank you Dr. Denmark, for if it had not been for you I would have died before reaching my 1st birthday.

  23. Sharen Rich

    Dr Denmark made such a difference in her treatment of my youngest son. When my son was 6 wks old, he was very sick. I took him to the hospital where he stayed for nearly a week. They had him on IV's, shaved his hair to put the IV. They suggested he had meningitis, (he didn't). They suggested because of that, he was going to be retarded, then said because of his small size, he would be short and fat. We took him home and he still had a problem, he couldn't keep his formula down. Because of my wise aunt's advise to take him to see Dr Denmark, everything changed for the better. I took my aunt's advice and took my son to see Dr Denmark. She did 2 things, showed me a better way to hold him, where nothing pressed on his tummy and took him off formula and put him on soy milk. My son did amazing, kept the soy milk down and to this day has no problems. He is now, 25, 6'3" and a college graduate and a star athlete. Thank you Dr Denmark for making such a difference in so many lives, but especially my son's.

    God bless you

  24. Ed Baugham

    I was born in 1940. She was my Dr. until I was too old. She always had her office in a house. As kids, my brother and I thought this was great. Mom said many times Dr Denmark saved me. She was very good.

  25. John Wilkins

    Dr. denmark treated my children and my grandchildren,and my great grandchildren

  26. sandi durden vaughn

    Dr. Denmark is my grandmothers aunt which makes her my great great aunt. What a remarkable woman she is. She truly has lived a tremendous life and help so many children. Thanks for all of your sweet comments.

  27. PYNTK

    You're welcome. We're more than honored to know her.

  28. Elaine Erwin

    Dr. D was my doctor in the 60's. I am 64 now and wish I had continued to follow the diet she put on then. I might live as long as she has. What a wonderful doctor and lady.
    Thank you

  29. JaneK81

    Hello! I heard about Dr. Denmark from my mother-in-law. She took all her kids and referred friends who were desperate to her. When I had our first child, my mom-n-law gave me the book "Dr. Denmark Said It!" and I've followed it to the T and it has been a blessing! I've tried looking for her book "Every Child Deserves a Second Chance" but it goes for the least $100! Luckily, my sis-n-law has it, she just has to find it... but I really wanted to know why Dr. Denmark is so anti milk? And why do Pediatricians push to feed your child formula if they are not being breast fed? Dr. Denmark suggested that a baby can be weened from breast milk and formula at 7-8 months old and can drink water. I followed Dr. Denmarks suggestion but my pediatrician said that my son should be on formula. He's in the 25th percentile on his growth track but he looks fine, eats great, sleeps throughout the night (since he was only 5 wks old) and he has only been growing, never decreasing in weight or height... why do pediatricians push? Please anyone...

  30. gail speed

    Dr. Denmark
    You are an Angel that the Lord have blessed us with. There are hundreds of thousands of children who are living today because of you. May God richly bless you and Thank-you Dr. Denmark we love you.


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