Leila Denmark: Supercenturions At Least 110 Years

Add a comment April 30th, 2012  

Leila Denmark: Supercenturions At Least 110 Years, Dr Leila Denmark, who has died aged 114, was one of the first women paediatricians in America and continued to work until she was 103, becoming the country’s oldest known practising physician; she began treating sick children in 1928, the same year Mickey Mouse made his debut, and by the time she retired she was treating the grandchildren, even great-grandchildren, of some of her first patients.

The third of 12 children, she was born Leila Alice Daughtry on February 1 1898, on a farm about 170 miles south-east of Atlanta, Georgia. Initially she trained as a teacher but she felt drawn to medicine and, in 1924, enrolled at the Medical College of Georgia, where she was the only woman in a class of 52 students. Four years later she became only the third woman to qualify as a doctor at the school.

After graduation she married John Eustace Denmark, a banker, and they moved to Atlanta, where she worked in the segregated black wards of Grady Hospital. Later she became the first resident physician at the Henrietta Eggleston Hospital at Emory University .

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