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JAMA 100 Years Ago
April 9, 2008


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2008;299(14):1728. doi:10.1001/jama.299.14.1728

In a recent magazine article1 Dr. W. A. Newman Dorland discusses the “Age of Mental Virility with an Inquiry into the Records of Achievements of the World's Chief Workers and Thinkers.” The article considers about four hundred distinguished men, whom everyone will concede as having done work surpassing their fellows, in regard to the age at which each did his work, the age when the career of each began, and the length of time each lived. It thus constitutes an answer to a great many questions that frequently have been under discussion. The men have been chosen from practically every kind of achievement and they fall roughly into two classes, the thinkers and the workers; that is, the men who did excellent work in literature, philosophy and other purely intellectual departments, and those who were inventors or founders of methods or the organizers of great institutions. There seems to be no doubt, therefore, that the subject matter is reasonably complete and that the conclusions reached may be depended on as representing the realities of life and of history.