Dr. Leila Denmark: Turning 113


Dr. Denmark is now 114 years old. Happy Birthday!

Today, Dr. Leila Denmark turned 113 years old. I spoke to her 80-year-old daughter this morning. She told me that Dr. Denmark is doing fine and she’s sleeping late today. I guess it’s perfectly fine to sleep late on your 113th birthday! Her daughter says she’s receiving cards and telephone calls from all parts of the country to help her celebrate this historic day.

I never thought that three years ago when I was giving pro bono presentations at metro Atlanta libraries about Life Lessons I Learned from a 110-year-old Atlanta Doctor, that I’d be gladly changing the title three years later to 113.

Congratulations and Happy Birthday, Dr. Leila Denmark; your life is an inspiration to us all!

Below is a re-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 … when Dr. Denmark turned 110.

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 live as long as Dr. Denmark, but they will help me to live a healthier life.

– Spark Plug

Share on Tumblr

Tags: Atlanta Bulloch County Dr. Leila Denmark Georgia Pediatrician

6 had something to say.
  1. Naomihamrick@yahoo.com

    You are proof if we take care of our bodies, we can live a long and prosperous life. Thank you so much.

  2. PYNTK

    You're welcome, Naomi. :-)

  3. robert t scott

    Congratulations on your 113 birthday. You have been on quite a trip in those years. Think of how many children lived because of your part in developing Pertussin.

    May you have more Happy Birthdays!
    Margaret Scott

  4. Susan Jackson

    Happy 113 th Birthday, Dr, Denmark!
    As the mother of 4 boys who were lucky enough to be patients of Dr. Denmark, I can't tell you how much your expertise, advice, and love were appreciated.!!! We saw you for the last time right before you retired. I called you for some medical advice and to say hello to you and Mary. Jackson Walker our youngest son, is now 13. He misses "listening to the birdie", when his ears were being checked!

    Dr. Denmark inspired me to go back to school at Agnes Scott College, which I did, and graduated. Currently I'm in an online masters of public health program MPH, out of San Jose State U. I want to help others to have better health, also.

    Thank you so much for everything!
    Susan Jackson and "the Walker Boys"(Kristopher,
    William. Joseph, & Jackson)

  5. Betty Bond

    I hope you had a wonderful birthday yesterday. We've never met but I have really enjoyed reading about you. Only God knows have many lives you have touched and enriched. You're an inspiration to us all. God bless you.

    Betty Bond

  6. Melissa D

    I'd love to know if Dr. Denmark ever said anything about the autism/vaccine issue. She'd of been the perfect person to talk to about that! I wonder if she thought more kids today are actually getting autism, or if the number is the same as ever, but it often went unrecognized or misdiagnosed many years ago.


Leave a Comment


XHTML: You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>