Dr. Martin Moran practiced pediatrics in Sandy Springs for more than 30 years before retiring in 2000.
A natural interest in medicine led the Sandy Springs resident to write his first book, “Tincture of Time: The Story of 150 Years of Medicine in Atlanta,” in 1995.
Moran came across much of the history of Grady Memorial Hospital while penning his first book, inciting him to write his second one, “Atlanta’s Living Legacy: A History of Grady Memorial Hospital and its People.”
It took Moran seven years to write the Grady book. He researched the hospital through organizations such as the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, Emory University in DeKalb County, Atlanta’s Buckhead and Auburn Street libraries and archived newspaper articles.
The 75-year-old said he believed it was important to write the book because of the impact Grady had and still has on the state of Georgia.
It is one of the state’s five Level 1 trauma centers and one of two within a 100-mile radius of Atlanta (the other, Atlanta Medical Center, did not achieve Level 1 status until last year).
“I believe that when they turn out the lights in Atlanta, the last lights burning should be [at] Grady Hospital,” he said. “It’s the most important building in the city.”
Moran said the hospital educates 25 percent of Georgia’s physicians.
Some interesting stories in the book include the race riot of 1906, the Gainesville tornado of the 1930s and the Fats Hardy moonshine debacle of 1951.
According to the book, 323 people who ingested Hardy’s bootleg whiskey, which was tainted with methyl alcohol, were treated at the hospital. Patients ranged from ages 10 to 78, and 22 victims were dead on arrival to the hospital or died within 30 minutes of getting there.
This tale and countless others make up the rich history of the hospital, which Moran said is vital to Atlanta’s welfare.
“There’s nothing else to replace it,” said Moran. “Other hospitals aren’t prepared for the large numbers Grady takes in.”
Moran said he has been selling about 40 to 50 copies of the book per week, which was published by Kimbark Publishing.