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World's Oldest Doctor: Dr. Leila Denmark Dies After Retiring At 103-Years-Old

The Huffington Post UK  |  By Posted: 4/04/2012 16:25 Updated: 4/04/2012 16:34

The world’s oldest doctor, who was still treating patients at the grand age of 103, has died after 70 years of savings lives.

Dr. Leila Denmark was 114-years-old when she passed away at home in Athens, Georgia – the fourth oldest living person in the world.

The extraordinary doctor became the first physician at the Henrietta Egleston Hospital for Children in 1928 and began her own paediatric practice in 1931.

Since she launched her home-based practice, Dr. Denmark treated patients up until 2001, when she finally retired aged 103.

Leila was previously awarded the Fisher Award in 1935 for her outstanding contribution to diagnosis, treatment and immunisation of whooping cough.

Leila’s grandson, Dr. James Hutcherson told the Daily Mail that she always loved medicine and couldn’t resist helping others, despite her age.

She absolutely loved medicine more than anything else in the world. She never referred to practising medicine as work,” he told the newspaper.

“Everything about her was always trying to make a difference, first and foremost.”

  • 101 Years Of Female Achievements

  • 1911

    Marie Curie was the first woman to hold the position of the Professor of General Physics in the Faculty of Sciences and the first person to ever receive two Nobel Prizes. Her first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1903 for Physics and the second in 1911, the year her work into radioactivity became widely recognised.

  • 1911

    Hilda Hewlett was the first British aviatrix to earn a pilot's licence, as well as the first ever woman to qualify as a pilot. Hewlett was also the first aviation entrepreneur and ran the first flying school in the UK, as well as a successful aircraft manufacturing business.

  • 1918

    Talented astronomer Annie Jump Cannon single-handedly created the universal system of stellar classification still in use to this day. Annie compiled the largest accumulation of astronomical information ever assembled and her phrase, 'Oh Be A Fine Girl Kiss Me!' helped several generations of astronomers learn the spectral classification of stars.

  • 1918

    The Parliamentary Qualification of Women Act was passed in 1918, enabling women to stand as a Member of Parliament. This was a significant move in a male dominated environment. In 1918, Countess Constance Markievicz was the first woman elected to the House of Commons. However she did not take her seat, in protest against Britain's policy in Ireland. The first woman to be elected and take her seat was Viscountess Nancy Astor in 1919.

  • 1929

    Emmeline Pankhurst was a British political activist and leader of the iconic suffragette movement which fought for women's right to vote. In 1929, her endless campaigning paid off when women over 21 were granted the right to vote. This was also the year that women became 'persons' in their own right, by order of the Privy Council. Emmeline Pankhurst founded the Women's Social and Political Union (WSPU) in 1898, which advocated suffrage for women. Their campaigns were famous for their staged hunger strikes and passionate protests. Her eldest daughter Christabel Pankhurst spent 15 years working beside her mother for the women's suffrage.

  • 1938

    The Married Women's Association was set up by a lady called Edith Summerskill to promote equality in marriage. Edith fought for equal rights between husband and wife, including legal rights to the marital home, guardianship rights for both parents and for the National Insurance Act to include women on the same terms as men. An active feminist, Summerskill paid particular attention to the high rate of maternal mortality and urged that the interests of the expectant mother must always be prioritised by the maternity services.

  • 1950

    In 1950, after years of devoting herself to helping the poor in Calcutta, Mother Teresa got permission from the Holy See to start her own order, The Missionaries of Charity, which dedicated its time to helping the poorest of the poor around the world and undertaking huge relief work in the wake of natural disasters. The charity was recognised as an International Religious Family by a decree of Pope Paul VI in 1965. Mother Teresa also received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. Because of Mother Teresa, the charity now helps millions of people worldwide.

  • 1952

    Ann Davison was the first woman to single-handedly sail across the Atlantic Ocean in her 23ft boat named Felicity Ann.

  • 1955

    A young African American woman named Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated 'white and black' bus, sparking the beginning of the significant black Civil Rights Movement in the US. Supported by Martin Luther King, they organised protests against the bus segregation and after a year of boycotting buses, integration was accepted. Rosa was later known as the 'mother of the Civil Rights Movement'.

  • 1963

    Russian Valentina Tereshkova went where no woman had been before - into space. Selected out of more than four hundred applicants in a male dominated environment, during the 70.8 hour flight, Tereshkova orbited the Earth 48 times. Upon completion of her mission, Tereshkova was honored with the title Hero of the Soviet Union. She never flew again, but she did become a spokesperson for the Soviet Union.

  • 1967

    The Abortion Law Reform was passed in 1967 after tireless campaigning by the National Abortion Campaign (NAC), which defended the Abortion Act against a series of Private Members' Bills, which threatened to restrict women's abortion rights.

  • 1968

    In 1968, over 850 women working at the Ford car factory in Daggenham, protested over equal pay, almost stopping the production of all Ford UK plants as a result. Their empowering strike directly led to the passing of the Equal Pay Act later in 1984.

  • 1974

    Free contraception on the NHS was introduced in 1974, following the endless campaigning by the women's movement. The first birth control pioneer was Helena Wright, who in 1930, founded the National Birth Control Council which was later called the Family Planning Association (FDA) we know today.

  • 1975

    Japanese mountaineer Junko Tabei was the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Following her record breaker, Tabei continued to climb many mountains across the world and is the first woman to have achieved the summits of the highest peaks on all seven continents. Tabei's brave quest paved the way for many more female mountaineers to conquer Everest.

  • 1975

    The Sex Discrimination Act was passed, making it illegal to discriminate against women in work, education and training. This was another act passionately pushed by the women's movement.

  • 1979

    Conservative MP, Margaret Thatcher became the first British female prime minister after winning the general election in 1979. Thatcher held her role as PM for 11 years.

  • 2003

    After having her manuscript rejected by 12 publishers, JK Rowling went on to be the first female billionaire novelist after her Harry Potter books became a global success. Rowling wrote her first Potter books as a single mother on welfare and is now the highest paid author in the world.

  • 2005

    Young yachtswoman Ellen MacArthur broke world records after she became the fastest person to sail single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation around the world at just 28 years old. Ellen was also the youngest person to ever receive a damehood from the Queen.

  • 2007

    Moira Cameron broke a 522 year male tradition after becoming the first female Beefeater at the Tower of London. Cameron joined the Army at 16 and spend the required 22 years serving in the Forces to become eligible for the prestigious position.

  • 2009

    Talented poet and playwright, Carol Ann Duffy, was selected as the first female Poet Laurette, Britain's most prestigious poetry title, ending 400 years of male domination.


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