top of page

Who is Dr. Denmark?

Dr. Leila D. Denmark was America's most experienced pediatrician, and the longest practicing doctor in recorded history. It is estimated that she personally treated over 250,000 patients over 75 years of active practice.


Dr. Denmark passed away at age 114, on April 1, 2012. Her last place of residence was Athens, Georgia, where she lived with her daughter, Mary Hutcherson. She was the fourth oldest person on Earth at the time of passing.


Born in 1898 in Bulloch County Georgia, she was graduated from Tift College, attended Mercer University, and completed her medical training in 1928 from Medical College of Georgia.


As the first intern at Egleston Children’s Hospital the same year, she admitted the first patient. She was instrumental in developing- through research and testing on patients- the pertussis vaccine (whooping cough) in the 1930’s, for which she received the prestigious Fisher Award in 1935. She was the recipient of numerous other honors (listed below), including the honorary Doctor of Science degree by Emory University in Atlanta for her outstanding humanitarian work on behalf of children’s health.

Dr. Denmark

Generations of Georgians have seen Dr. Denmark for medical care. Her story has been featured on CNN/TIME, 48 Hours, The Today Show, Good Morning America, NBC Nightly News, in USA today, Good Housekeeping, People Magazine, Parade Magazine, Atlanta Magazine, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Focus on the Family Physician, and numerous additional local and national publications.


Dr. Denmark's Book

In 1971, Dr. Denmark published a book titled: "Every Child Should Have a Chance". That book is available directly from Mary Hutcherson, her daughter, for $20.00 per copy, plus $4.00 for shipping and handling within the U.S. only. International shipping must be determined. Checks should be made payment to Mary Hutcherson, and sent to the following address:

Mary Hutcherson
150 Morton Avenue
Athens, Georgia 30605

Further information at 706-543-9984



What is the difference between Dr. Denmark's book & Madia Bowman's book?

Dr. Denmark Said It! is a ready reference guide, with detailed instructions on Denmark- recommended infant care, schedules, menus, and practical treatment of common ailments. Denmark parenting priorities are also addressed and applied, as Mrs. Bowman recounts her personal parenting experiences.  "Every Child Should Have a Chance" is written in a conversational style from the perspective of the beloved doctor herself, drawing on  her vast experience as a physician. 


Dr. Denmark's Memberships and Honors:

  • American Medical Association

  • Medical Association of Georgia

  • Georgia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (honorary president)

  • Medical Association of Atlanta

  • Druid Hills Baptist Church, Atlanta

  • Selected as Atlanta's Woman of the Year, 1953

  • Received distinguished service citation from Tift College, April 14, 1970, as "a devout humanitarian who has invested her life in pediatric services to all families without respect to economic status, race, or national origin... Devoted humanitarian, doctor par excellence, generous benefactor."

  • Honorary degree, doctor of humanities, Tift College, June 4 1972

  • Fisher Award in 1935 for outstanding research in diagnosis, treatment and immunization of whooping cough

  • Distinguished Alumni Award from Georgia Southern College, Statesboro, January 28, 1978

  • Honorary president, Georgia Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

  • Community Service Award 1980, sponsored by television station WXIA, Atlanta

  • Distinguished Alumni Award from Mercer University, Macon 1980

  • Distinguished Alumni Award from Tift College, Forsyth, 1980


  • Book of Golden Deeds Award, Buckhead Exchange Club, Atlanta, April 17, 1981

  • Citation from Citizens of Portal at Turpentine Festival, October 16, 1982, jointly with husband, John Eustace Denmark, for outstanding achievement and service.

  • Medal of Honor from Daughters of American Revolution, Joseph Habersham chapter, Atlanta, October 20, 1983

  • Selected as  member of Gracious Ladies of Georgia, Columbus, 1987

  • Distinguished Alumni Award from Medical College of Georgia, May 2, 1987

  • Honored with husband, John Eustace Denmark, by Mercer University as life member of President's Club, December 4, 1987

  • Shining Light Award, Atlanta Gas Light Company, 1989

  • Honorary degree, Doctor of Science, Mercer University, June 2, 1991

  • Honorary degree, Doctor of Science, Emory University, May 2000

  • Heroes, Saints and Legends Award, Wesley Woods, 2000

  • Georgia legislature commends her for her many contributions, 2000

Dr. Denmark pictured with Madia Bowman and her daughter Christina.

bottom of page