“Helping people, that’s what it’s all about”: 101-year-old pediatrician pushes off retirement

dr. Andy Margileth shows no signs of slowing down. The longtime pediatrician turned 101 on Saturday and has no plans to retire.

“It’s a feel-good job. It’s not even a job. It’s just fun,” he said. “What’s more important than helping other people?”

Margileth defied the actuaries. He is one of dozens of age-old physicians in the United States who still practice medicine.

dr. Andy Margileth shows no signs of slowing down at age 101. CBS News

The World War II Navy veteran, who received an award for his work in military pediatrics, has practiced long enough to know what it was like before vaccines protected people. And long before COVID-19, another virus was especially deadly to children.

“Polio was so bad. The death rate, the kids getting the iron lung, it was terrible,” he said.

At the time, Margileth was a leader in developing vaccines and treatments for childhood diseases.

“We gave the child one dose and it was literally almost like the leukemia was gone. That’s called satisfaction,” he said.

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He attributes his longevity to those medical breakthroughs and a healthier lifestyle — lifting weights every day and trying to swim once or twice a week.

dr. Andy Margileth, who is 101 years old, lifts weights to keep himself healthy. CBS News

“Well, I’ve never wanted to quit, that’s my problem,” he said of his work at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

It’s that lifelong service to his country and his patients that keeps him going.

“If you had to put a headline on this, I think you’d say, ‘Helping people, that’s what it’s all about,'” he said.

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