A prophetic article appeared in the December 21, 2006 online Channel 9 News website out of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The story reported on Dr. Thomas Langley reaching his 100 birthday while still practicing chiropractic. According to the report, Dr. Langley of Dalton, Georgia became the world’s oldest practicing chiropractor. His actual 100th birthday was December 28, 2006. He passed away January 6, 2007.
Dr. Langley embarked on his chiropractic career following his service in the US Army Air Corps, enrolling in the Palmer School of Chiropractic in 1935. Upon graduation, he set up practice in Georgia and spent his entire 69 year professional career in that state, providing chiropractic care to generations of patients. Dr. Langley had been a continuous member of the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) for 56 years, and at the time of his passing, was the organization’s oldest member.
“Dr. Tom Langley devoted his life to the chiropractic profession and to his community.” In a statement before Dr. Langley’s passing, former ICA President Dr. Sid E. Williams who had worked with Dr. Langley in their home state of Georgia for many decades continued, “He has always been ready to give more than was expected or even required. His patients have counted on him throughout the years for excellent subluxation-based chiropractic care. He is a loyal member of the ICA and an enduring personal friend. He is to be honored and respected for the contributions to the profession and to mankind. It is an honor to wish you Happy Birthday, Tom!”
At Dr. Langley’s 100th celebration Channel 9 interviewed several of Dr. Langley’s patients including Lynn Turner who sat beside him at his celebration dinner and said, “I broke my back playing football in ’56. On the count of him, I never have had to have an operation.” The Channel 9 story also interviewed Pat Jordan, his receptionist for 33 years. She described Langley by saying, “He’s just a very caring person and he’s a joy to work for.”
Dr. Langley had been active in the American Legion, the Lions Club of Dalton, GA, and an active member of the First Baptist Church of Dalton. He was also an avid golfer, playing as often as two or three times a week, well into his 90’s. At their meeting of November 28, 2006, ICA’s Board of Directors enthusiastically passed a “Resolution of Congratulations and Appreciation” for Dr. Langley, citing his distinguished service to the chiropractic profession and the citizens of his community, and acknowledging him as “a most distinguished professional, a selfless servant to his community, a model of integrity and an example to us all.”
“Dr. Tom Langley was known to his colleagues and patients as a quiet, loving and dedicated practitioner and a fine human being,” said his friend and fellow Georgian, former ICA President Dr. D.D. Humber. “I have never known a chiropractor who is more universally loved than Dr. Langley.”
Dr. Thomas Langley 1906 – 2007, will always have the honor and respect of his patients and colleagues and will be known as the only chiropractor to have ever reached the century mark while still in active practice.