Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.


Leila Denmark

A medical doctor, Denmark was a pediatrician — and the only woman in her class at the Medical College of Georgia. After her internship, she opened a pediatric clinic in her Atlanta home. Cost of an office visit: $4. When whooping cough (pertussis) broke out in Atlanta, she helped to research the disease, and co-developed a vaccine for it, earning her the Fisher Prize. She was a plain-spoken doctor. “When a mother asks, ‘Doctor, what makes my baby so bad?’” she was likely to answer, “Go look in the mirror. You get apples off apple trees,” Denmark told People magazine a few years ago. She loved her work: by the time she retired, her office visit charge had only made it up to $10. “You keep on doing what you do best, as long as you can,” Denmark said. “I enjoyed every minute of it for more than 70 years. If I could live it over again, I'd do exactly the same thing.”

Wait: 70 years? Actually, that’s not true: she practiced for 73 years — she graduated medical school in 1928, and didn’t retire until she was 103, and even then it was only due to her failing eyesight; she gave advice over the phone for seven more years after that. By her retirement she had treated many of the grandchildren, and even some great-grandchildren, of her early patients. She attributed her longevity to never eating sugar, drinking only water (fruits were for eating, never juice), and having protein and a vegetable at every meal. Dr. Denmark died April 1 at 114 — she was the fourth-oldest person known in the world.

From This is True for 8 April 2012

Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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