The Elves were the first speaking race to come into existence in history. The are also considered to be the most wise race of all in Middle-Earth. This could be because they never age, and people always say that wisdom comes from experience. They also never are affected by illness. They only are killed by violence or extreme negative emotions. Elrond, Galadriel, and Legolas are the most prominent elves in the story.
I did not know all of this, so please check out my references.