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The World's Oldest People (Documented; Verified)

"No single subject is more obscured by vanity, deceit, falsehood or deliberate fraud than the extremes of human longevity" - Guinness Book of Records.
Dare I say it - she's probably not that old at all. I don't mean to be rude or offhand, but, in a polite and courteous way, it's probably just a mistake, especially in a country like Mali, where people are not well nourished as a rule. I've just looked up my atlas, and the life expectancy of a woman in Mali is 48 years. This is not to say it's impossible, but it's probably economical with the truth.
Not so many years ago there was a stir about the longevity of people in a place called Vilcabamba, in Ecuador. There were said to be dozens of people over 100 in one town, including one Albertano Roa, aged 119, who was still smoking, drinking, and digging the garden. Frankly it turned out to be tosh.
An interesting point here is that there is no reliable scientific way of dating any part of the human body. So without a birth certificate and other evidence, well, I'm afraid it's apocryphal.
Then again, I could be wrong.

Big Bill Robinson
World's oldest man dies again

TOKYO, Japan (AP) -- Yukichi Chuganji, a retired silkworm breeder documented as the world's oldest man, has died at his home in Japan at age 114.

Chuganji was pronounced dead from natural causes Sunday evening, his 65-year old nephew, Tadao Haji, said on Monday.

Bedridden in recent years, Chuganji had been living with his 72-year-old daughter Kyoko in the city of Ogori, about 890 kilometers (550 miles) southwest of Tokyo.

He had just finished drinking some apple juice when his family noticed he wasn't looking well, Haji said.

"As always, he had been thanking everyone for taking such good care of him and for cooking his meals," Haji said of Chuganji's last day.

Chuganji was born March 23, 1889 in the farming town of Chikushino on Japan's southernmost main island of Kyushu. He worked as a silkworm breeder and adviser after graduating from technical school in the early 1900s.

He liked to eat beef and pork with his meals of rice and miso soup. He would drink milk everyday but didn't consume alcohol.

Kyushu is also home to the world's oldest person, a 116-year-old woman named Kamato Hongo.

There are an estimated 15,000 Japanese over the age of 100, and women make up about 80 percent of the total.

Japan's life expectancy is the longest in the world for both sexes -- 85.23 years for women and 78.32 for men in 2002. The country's traditional fish-based, lowfat diet may be the secret to the long lives, researchers say.
Everytime there is a report of the oldest man or woman they are always asked to what do they attribute their old age to.

Instead of saying the obvious answer " I failed to die for longer than anyone else" they mention some generally insignificant aspect of their diet or any other regular activity that comes to mind. Probably the first thing that comes into their head - usually a daily activity like eating orr drinking......This is then leapt upon by the reporter as a newly discovered elixir of longevity....

Really they should do proper scientifc trials -

Anyone know where we can find several hundred 120 year olds?
Rrose Selavy said:
Anyone know where we can find several hundred 120 year olds?

A graveyard? The Galapagos Islands - though most of those chaps have shells...
World's oldest person snuffs it again:

A Japanese woman believed to be the world's oldest person has died aged 116.
Kamato Hongo died in hospital on Friday, one of her grandsons said.

Mrs Hongo, who lived on the island of Tokunoshima in southern Japan, had been bed-ridden for some time.

She had seven children and at least 27 grandchildren.

The world's oldest person is now believed to be 114-year-old Mitoyo Kawate, a Japanese woman living in Hiroshima.

Japanese longevity

Mrs Hongo was well-known throughout Japan for her habit of sleeping for two days and then staying awake for two days.

Her grandson Tsuyoshi Karauchi, who lived with her, told the BBC last month that sleeping was a favourite pastime for his grandmother.

"We even feed her in her sleep," he told the East Asia Today programme.

Mr Karauchi said his grandmother, like a lot of other elderly people, ate miso soup, rice and vegetables.

Asked about the secret of her longevity, he said: "She was brought up in a good environment, ate healthy local food. She survived the war but apart from that it's been a peaceful happy life."

She has never smoked, he said, "but she did start drinking about 20 years ago in her 90s".

Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world. Their diet of fish and green vegetables is thought to contribute to their longevity.

Economists are predicting a crisis in the state pension system within a few years, because the benefits being paid out far exceed payments being made into it.

Worlds oldest person dies

World's oldest person dies at 114
The world's oldest person has died in Japan at the age of 114.
Mitoyo Kawate died of pneumonia at a hospital in the southwestern city of Hiroshima, Japanese officials said.

She was recognised by the Guinness World Records as the oldest person on 31 October, shortly after the death of fellow Japanese Kamato Hongo, aged 116.

It was not immediately clear who is now the world's oldest person, but it is believed that a 113-year old US woman may have taken the crown.

According to the Guinness World Records, Charlotte Benkner of North Lima, Ohio, will celebrate her 114th birthday on 16 November.

The website of the London-based organisation also records the oldest man whose birth can be fully authenticated as Joan Riudavets Moll, a 113-year-old man from Spain.

It says that the family of Hava Rexha, an Albanian woman believed to be 123 years old, has also claimed the title.

But after her death earlier this month, the Guinness World Records could not complete the authentication of her birth documents.

Japanese longevity

Mitoyo Kawate was born on 15 May 1889 - less than a month after Adolf Hitler and in the same year as the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris.

Kawate, who had four children, was a farmer in Hiroshima until she turned 100, a spokesman for Hiroshima city, Masatoshi Yamada, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

The spokesman said she is survived by a son and a daughter, but did not provide any details about her grandchildren.

Kawate especially liked custard cakes and singing, a caretaker from a nursing home where she had been living for the last 10 years said earlier this month.

After her death, Japan's oldest woman was now 113-year-old Ura Koyama from the southwestern city of Fukuoka, a Japanese Health Ministry official said.

Japan leads the world in longevity, with the life expectancy averaging 85 years for women, and 78 years for men.

The country's traditional diet of fish and green vegetables is thought to contribute to their longevity.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2003/11/13 18:57:09 GMT

I thought the oldest person in the world died a couple of months back. How come she keeps dying?
thats why they're the worlds oldest person, presumeably...

"oh, I appear to have shuffled off this mortol coil..."

"yay, now we can finally collect great-great-grannys inheritance !"

"AHA! thats your game, I wasen't really dead I was just pretending you ungreatful sods! ye'll nay get a penny outa me! I outlived yer money grubbing forefathers I'll out live ye an all!"
"Namibia's oldest granny dies 'at 126'"

From the Namibian newspaper. Note that while the article claims she is 126, her birthdate is given as Xmas Day 1878, which would have made her 125 when she died. - Zane

Wednesday, January 14, 2004 - Web posted at 7:23:34 GMT

Namibia's oldest granny dies 'at 126'

NAMIBIA'S oldest person, Anna Visser, died on Thursday in the Sacred Heart Hospice at Mariental.

She was said to be about 126 years old.

Her grandchildren at Asab, in the south of Namibia, were yesterday making arrangements for her funeral which is scheduled to take place on Saturday.

According to birth records in the possession of the family, granny Visser, also known as Ouma Fransman, was born on Christmas day in 1878 at farm !Khai //Gamites [Kouewater] in the Keetmanshoop district.

Three years ago, when she still lived with her grandchildren at Asab, President Sam Nujoma paid a special visit to Visser and donated N$5 000 to the country's then most senior citizen.

According to the Guinness World Records the oldest person, a Japanese man, was around 115 years old.

Although Ouma Fransman was born at !Khai //Gamites, she spent her childhood at Keetmanshoop, Sasaos and at Gochas.

She was about 15 years old when the war between the Namas and the Germans broke out.

Ouma Fransman was captured along with her mother and sister and taken to Keetmanshoop where they were detained in a concentration camp.

She will be laid to rest on Saturday along with Adam Isaacks, a son of her grandchild, who died in a car accident.
Interesting stuff about his family:

The world's oldest man

Giles Tremlett meets Joan Riudavets, aged 114, and still going strong

Wednesday January 21, 2004
The Guardian

The oldest man in the world is standing up in his front room, slightly bent over and sagging at the knees, dressed in his winter best. Joan Riudavets, 114 last month, is wearing a flat cap and tie, his multiple layers of jerseys topped with a blue Lacoste cardigan. Joan believes guests should get the warmest possible welcome. And that, whatever the doctor says, means standing up and shaking hands. "I'm fine," he says in Spanish, politely waving away the offer of an arm.

His daughter, Paca, arrives back from the shop in Es Migjorn, the village on the island of Menorca where Joan has lived, in the same street, since he was born. "He is meant to stay sitting down when I go out. He does not always obey," she apologises.

Joan, however, is sticking to one of the few bits of advice he gives those who seek the secret of his longevity: "Keep moving, keep going forward." He insists, in fact, that he does not feel old enough to be breaking records. "They say I am the grandfather of the world," he chuckles. "I could not really believe it when they told me. My body does not hurt me at all. I am 114 years old but I still do not know what a headache feels like. Look! My pulse is steady. I can still hold a pen and write perfectly well."

He chats animatedly, gesticulating and clenching his hands. His words get gargled on the way up his throat, and can be difficult to capture. From time to time he loses the thread of conversation, but he is, mostly, on the ball.

Joan made it into the record books last September, when Yukichi Chuganji, of Japan, died at the age of 114 years and 139 days. His contemporaries, also born in 1889, included Charles Chaplin and Adolf Hitler. The Eiffel Tower was finished the same year, Queen Victoria sat on the British throne and Jack the Ripper was still on the prowl.

His recipe for lasting so long has little to do with diets or exercise routines and lots to do with the inner self. "Live calmly and treat other people well," he advises as we tuck into glasses of sweet, strong muscatel wine and Paca's pastisets , doughy, home-made biscuits. He has always drunk a bit, like this, but only in moderation. He gave up smoking in 1922, when he was 33. "I was never one of those who smoked all the time anyway. "

He may not consider it important, but Joan is a walking advertisement for the Mediterranean diet. "I eat anything," he says. "Chickpeas and beans, fruit and vegetables, meat and fish. But, whatever it is, I like it well cooked."

Joan would like to have been a football player. But, like so many other things, the game had not been invented when he was born. Or, rather, it had not come to Menorca. He was 12 when Real Madrid was founded. "Es Migjorn was the first place in Menorca to include football in its summer fiestas," he recalls proudly. "But that was in the mid-1920s." Joan was in his mid-30s.

Much of what we take for granted had not been invented when Joan was born. Radio, commercially produced cars, aeroplanes, even zips, had not made it off the drawing board, let alone to a remote Mediterranean island. He remembers the island's first car. "It went too fast and crashed, turned right over," he laughs.

Electricity, however, remains his choice for the greatest invention introduced to Es Migjorn during his life. "I had read about it and seen it in Menorca's capital, in Mahon. But that really changed everything," he said. It also provided him with a new form of entertainment - switching the neighbours' supply off.

Joan never learned to drive, but was the proud owner of a bicycle. On an island the size of Menorca, only 50 km long, that is all you need. "I always liked movement," he explains, his arms jigging backwards and forwards. "I loved cycling and I liked swimming and dancing too. I liked dancing the fandango best."

His greatest love of all, though, has been music. "I learned to play guitar and the violin when I was young. It was my best pastime. When there was no work to be done, that was what I liked doing."

He started working in the family's shoe-making workshop as a child and retired in the 1950s. In those days, he explained, you did what your father told you. "We never lacked work. We have been very fortunate," he says.

He still remembers half a dozen men from the village being called up to go to the war in Cuba in 1898 - just as Britain was about to embark on the second Boer war. Spain lost that one, and the last of its American colonies. "Some never came back. And those who did were ill for the rest of their lives," he said. "The family of one of them spent six years in mourning. And then he suddenly reappeared. Maybe he did not know how to write."

Joan was one of the few villagers who learned to write. He would like to have studied more and become a doctor or teacher. "I liked school," he said. "But I had to work with my father." He was an obedient son. "One reason I learned to read was that I woke up one morning and there was a book in my room. I took that as a sign from my father that he wanted me to learn."

His biggest regret, even now, is that he never met his mother. She died 15 days after he was born, aged 24. There was no photograph of her. "I have always regretted that, and more so as time goes by," he says. The Riudavets are unusually long-lived. Pere, a brother, lives a few doors down the same street. He is a mere stripling at 103. "He's stone deaf," explains Paca. "But he could probably run down the street if he wanted to." The youngest brother lives in Mahon. At 98, he hardly counts as old by family standards.

Scientists from Boston have visited with their syringes, looking for genetic secrets to the Riudavets' longevity, though none has come to a conclusion. The Guinness Book of Records keeps files on some 40 registered supercentenarians, aged over 110. The names of record-holders, and those in pursuit, are constantly being renewed.

When Joan became the world's oldest man in September, he was still only its fourth oldest person - a record traditionally held by a woman. But, within a few weeks, the Japanese winter had killed off both 116-year-old Kamato Hongo and 114-year-old Mitoyo Kowate. That left only Charlotte Benkner from Ohio, just 25 days older than Joan, as the world's oldest person; then she, too, died.

Joan has become something of a celebrity, even a tourist attraction. His favourite visit, though, was from the local schoolchildren. "They asked me what I did all day. I told them I was a layabout, but that they should study," he said. He was not joking. Joan spends 15-hour stretches in bed most nights. He likes lying there, going through his memories. "It's where I feel best," he says.

Doing the right thing, or behaving properly, have been lifelong concerns. "I have always to tried to think well of people. I have never lied, or at least not with intent," he says.

Even now, as death approaches, his biggest worry is that everybody should be "satisfied" with him. "I think a lot about the things I should do well so I can leave my family happy and satisfied. I do not want them to be discontent with me," he says.

I wonder what those scientists will find in his genes. Perhaps they are looking in the wrong place. Joan's secret, I suspect, lies in the heart.

Just Kids

All these people are just kids. The longest lived person with some supporting documentation (besides Charley Smith who died, I think, at 134) was an Indian man from Venezuela named Javier Periera. He lived from 1789 to 1956. He was all over the news in the 1950s. As I recall, his enlistment in the Spanish army circa 1810 was found, along with some other documents. He had outlived several wives and all of his children and grandchildren, said he was looking for a new wife when discovered in 1954. He couldn't find anyone fat enough.:)
Date: 2004-02-18

What Are Your Odds Of Surviving Into Your Hundreds?

A genetic factor that protects you against heart disease during middle age could reduce the odds that you’ll celebrate your hundredth birthday. Research published in BMC Medical Genetics shows that a genetic trait, which is rarely found in centenarians, is associated with lower cholesterol levels.

The risk of suffering from heart disease is increased by a number of factors, including having high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in your blood. The main component of low-density lipoprotein is apoliprotein (b) whose quality and quantity are related to the quality and expression of the APOB genes you have.

In a previous study, Professor Giovanna De Benedictis found that older, healthy people were most unlikely to carry short versions of a DNA region that neighbours the APOB gene. “This indicates that the short alleles are unfavourable to longevity,” she says. In contrast, these short versions are over-represented in healthy, middle-aged adults, indicating that these variants of the APOB gene region play a protective role at this point in your life.

Her group have now analysed both the variability in the DNA surrounding the APOB gene and the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels in over 400 healthy volunteers, between the ages of 20 and 102. The aim was to see if there was any link between the two factors.

Their results show that people with short variants of the APOB gene region have significantly lower levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in their blood.

The authors of the study write: “On the whole, the short alleles would be advantageous in adults, by protecting them from high levels of LDL-Cholesterol, while dangerous in the elderly, probably by lowering serum cholesterol below a critical threshold.”

In line with these findings, the researchers showed that patients suffering from heart disease as a consequence of having high low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were less likely to have one or more short variants of the APOB gene region, compared to healthy volunteers.

“On the whole, the study confirms that genetic risk factors are age-specific and gives possible insights into another ‘paradox of centenarians’,” write the authors.


This press release is based on the following article:

A study of the average effect of the 3'APOB-VNTR polymorphism on lipidemic parameters could explain why the short alleles (<35 repeats) are rare in centenarians. S Garasto, M Berardelli, F De Rango, V Mari, E Geraco and G De Benedictis BMC Medical Genetics, 2004 5:3 Published 9 February, 2004

This article is freely available, according to BMC Medical Genetics’ Open Access policy at: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2350/5/3/


worlds oldest man dies age 114

The Spaniard recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest man in the world has died on the Balearic island of Menorca.
Joan Riudavets Moll, who celebrated his 114th birthday three months ago, died on Friday night after suffering from a cold for several days.

Mr Riudavets died at his home in Es Migjorn Gran - the same village in which he was born on 15 December 1889.

He spent his entire working life as a cobbler and retired half a century ago.

He attributed his longevity to his Mediterranean diet, based on tomatoes, fish and olive oil.

He continued to take walks to the end of his life and always enjoyed socialising.

Mr Riudavets was declared by the Guinness Book of Records to be the oldest living man whose date of birth was fully authenticated last September, after the death of the previous record-holder.

His wife, whom he married in 1917, also lived to a respectable age - she too was born in 1889 and died at the age of 90.

Would anyone here like to end up as the world's oldest person?:)
"Good Evening and welcome to the Guinness World Records Show. Tonight we are pleased to have the world's oldest man in the audience.

He's just sitting on the third row next to his parents".
Yep I'm up for it but as the next generation might be the last to actually die then it might not be much of an achievement - I'm aiming for not dying full stop. We are burying my great aunt on Monday and she was in her nineties and all of her generation in our family made it to at least 80 so I'm planning on holding on long enough for The Cure ;)

Anyway the news (probably from the fornt page):

Vancouver-born woman dies in U.S at 110; shunned exercise, loved Irish coffee

Mon Mar 22,12:16 PM ET

SEQUIM, Wash. (AP) - Eva Fridell, who shunned exercise and milk in favour of sweets, Irish coffee and an occasional beer, and became reportedly the oldest person in Washington state, is dead at 110.

Fridell died Saturday afternoon in her easy chair at home in this Olympic Peninsula town, relatives said. She would have turned 111 on May 28. Fridell was born Eva Greenwood in Vancouver and grew up in the Seattle area.

In an interview on her 110th birthday last year, she said she, two sisters and a brother were left at Martha and Mary Childrens Home, an orphanage in Poulsbo, for eight years while her mother went to the Klondike Gold Rush in Alaska.

In 1910 she married Lewis (Pete) Fridell, and they owned and operated a laundry for some years in Omak.

He died in 1978 and she moved to Sequim 10 years later. Five years ago, after being hurt in a fall, she moved in with her grandson, Gregg Saunders, and his wife Karen.

"Life was hard sometimes," she said in the interview, "but overall I have had it pretty easy."

Survivors include two of her three children, Jean Saunders, 78, of Port Angeles, and Louise McCausland, 92, of Redmond; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren, and a half-sister, Margaret Parsons, 92, of Vernon, B.C.

Funeral arrangements were pending.


Emperor said:
Yep I'm up for it but as the next generation might be the last to actually die then it might not be much of an achievement - I'm aiming for not dying full stop. We are burying my great aunt on Monday and she was in her nineties and all of her generation in our family made it to at least 80 so I'm planning on holding on long enough for The Cure ;)


You realize that if a cure for age is found it will probably be expensive, perhaps artificially so to limit the numbers who get it, and perhaps kept secret as long as possible.
The persons who will get it will be Britney Spears, Rosie O'donnel, Brad Pitt, Elton John, George Bush, the Emperor of Japan, the Queen (or King) of England, Putin, Mubarak, et al.:blah:
calypsoparakeet said:
You realize that if a cure for age is found it will probably be expensive, perhaps artificially so to limit the numbers who get it, and perhaps kept secret as long as possible.
The persons who will get it will be Britney Spears, Rosie O'donnel, Brad Pitt, Elton John, George Bush, the Emperor of Japan, the Queen (or King) of England, Putin, Mubarak, et al.:blah:

and me ;)

Last update: May 5, 2004 at 8:23 AM

Another birthday for oldest woman in world

Yuras Karmanau, Associated Press
May 5, 2004OLD06

MINSK, Belarus -- A woman believed to be the oldest in the world celebrated her 116th birthday Wednesday in the former Soviet republic of Belarus.

``I'll drink to my own health with pleasure,'' said Hanna Barysevich, a former farm worker who lives in a house outside the Belarusian capital Minsk.

``I'm tired of living already, but God still hasn't collected me,'' she said with a smile.

Barysevich was born on May 5, 1888, in the village of Buda, 37 miles east of Minsk, according to her passport. Her parents were poor, landless peasants.

``From my early childhood I didn't know anything but physical labor,'' said Barysevich, who never learned to read or write. She worked in a kolkhoz, or collective farm, until age 95, then moved to the house she shares with her 78-year-old daughter Nina.

Barysevich lived through the Bolshevik Revolution, two world wars and the collapse of the Soviet Union. The worst period for her was the reign of dictator Josef Stalin: Her husband Ippolit was declared an ``enemy of the people'' for allegedly harming the collective farm, arrested and taken to Siberia. He was never heard from again.

She raised her three children on her own, including throughout World War II, when she used to take her family to the woods outside the village to hide from the Nazis.

``A lot of men courted me but I preferred to live on my own,'' she said.

Today, Barysevich moves with difficulty but unaided. She complains of occasional headaches and worsening vision ``but nothing else bothers me.''

She attributes her longevity to genes: Her paternal grandmother was 113 when she died. As to diet, Barysevich prefers simple village food: homemade sausages, pork fat, milk and bread.

Daughter Nina said her mother has a good appetite, a tough character and very strong nerves.

``Throughout my long life, I understood that it isn't worth it to get upset and take everything too close to the heart,'' Barysevich said.

For her birthday, she hoped for a raise in her monthly pension, equal to about , and a chance to go to a Catholic church for confession.

Last month, the Guinness Book of Records recognized a 114-year-old Puerto Rican as the world's oldest living woman. Barysevich said she'd never thought of applying for the distinction.

And again...

'World's oldest person' dies, 114

A Puerto Rican woman thought to be the world's oldest person has died, at the age of 114.

Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan died early on Saturday after a bout of pneumonia in a nursing home in Rio Piedras, a suburb of San Juan. "I was hoping she could make it to her 115th birthday," one of her great-nephews Rene Matos to AP news agency.

Iglesias, born in 1889 was recognised as the world's oldest person by Guinness World Records in April.

However, there are reports of a Belarusian woman who celebrated her 116th birthday last month.

Hanna Barysevich has said that she had never thought of applying for recognition to Guinness World Records.

'Easy life'

Iglesias was born the same year as Charlie Chaplin, and the year the Eiffel Tower was opened. At the time Puerto Rico was still part of the Spanish empire.

A baptismal certificate showed she was born 31 August that year, however a birth certificate issued in 1948 showed her birth date as 1 September, AP reported.

Her husband, a bank manager, passed away in the 1970s, Mr Matos said. They had no children.

He put down her longevity to the fact that she had "a very easy life - easy in the sense that she didn't have too much to worry about".

She also enjoyed drinking beer.

"Even when she was over 100 years, every time we took her out to a restaurant, she always like to have a beer, a small beer... with the food," he said.

"That was the first thing she asked for when she got to a restaurant."

Guinness lists Fred Hale Sr of Syracuse, New York, aged 113, as the world's oldest man.

BBCi News 1/6/04
World's oldest person celebrates 114th birthday

Tue 29 June, 2004 16:23

By Paul Gallagher

HOOGEVEEN, The Netherlands (Reuters) - A retired Dutch needlework teacher with a passion for football and a taste for herring has celebrated her 114th birthday with a place in the record books as the world's oldest person.

Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper was declared the world's oldest woman -- and person -- by Guinness World Records when the previous 114-year-old title holder Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan of Puerto Rico died last month.

Van Andel-Schipper, who celebrated her birthday in a retirement home in the northern Dutch town of Hoogeveen, was born in 1890.

"I eat a herring every day and I drink a glass of orange juice every day for the vitamins," she said in a firm voice when asked at a news conference on Monday about the secret to her longevity.

The white-haired Dutch woman has seen electricity, the telephone, the car, the plane and space travel transform the world during a lifetime linking three centuries, and lived through two World Wars.

Her local municipality threw the birthday party for Van Andel-Schipper -- who has become the town's biggest celebrity -- at her retirement home. A choir sang and a band played at the event and local streets were decorated in blue and white bunting.

"She never spends a whole day in bed and her health is still good. However, her eyesight and hearing are not as good as when she was 108," Guinness World Records said.


Wearing a blue dress, white cardigan and with a rose pinned to her blouse, Van Andel-Schipper was presented with a silver commemorative plate by her favourite soccer team, Ajax Amsterdam, recognising her as the club's oldest fan, and with a pendant by the local mayor.

The frail, wheelchair-bound woman harbours a passion for the Dutch soccer team and, although hard of hearing, tries to listen to a radio football programme but has not gone to a game in decades.

The town also named a street outside the retirement home where she lives in her honour and dozens of the residents there celebrated her birthday with coffee and cake.

The daughter of a rural headmaster, Van Andel-Schipper was born in the town of Smilde in the northern Netherlands on June 29, 1890.

She married a tax inspector in the 1930s and was forced to sell her jewellery to buy food during the German occupation in World War Two. She was widowed after 20 years of marriage.

"I think it is nice to have lived to be this age. I'm not scared of death. Everyone has to go. I hope I don't have to suffer, that they find me dead in bed one day," she told a Dutch newspaper.

Although a Lebanese woman who has documents showing she was born in 1877 -- making her at least 126 years old -- could be the oldest person in the world according to a report earlier this month, Guinness World Records have not verified this.

"The oldest verified person is Hendrikje," a spokeswoman for Guinness World Records (http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com) said.

Retired U.S. postal worker and beekeeper Fred Hale, who was born on December 1, 1890, is the world's oldest man, according to Guinness World Records, which collects, confirms and presents information on world records around the world.

I'm not up for this indefinitely postponing death malarky (as per Emperor's post further up).

As one commentator has written, all of human art and creativity is imbued with the knowledge and implicit acceptance of the ephemeral nature of a person's life.

If everyone knew they were going to live forever, it would annihilate society as we understand it.

Quality of life not quantity, that's where it's at my friends.

Quite like the idea that I'd live a really packed life in (what remains of) my formative years and don't spent too long winding down at the end of play. 80'll do me nicely.
Dropping like flies

Australia's oldest person dies, aged 111
Thu 1 July, 2004 09:03

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia's oldest person, Alice Lindsay, has died at the age of 111, domestic media report.

Lindsay and her family did not know she was Australia's oldest person until media reports about the death of 109 year-old Mary Smith last year incorrectly described her as the country's oldest person.

Lindsay was born on March 31, 1893, on a dairy farm in Tarraville on Australia's southeast coast. She was one of seven children. Her twin sister, Eugenia, died in 1998 aged 105.

Lindsay died on Thursday at Trevu House Aged Care centre in Gawler, 40 km (25 miles) north of Adelaide in the state of South Australia.

World's Oldest Man Cheering for Red Sox

Oct 25, 8:57 PM (ET)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - In 113 years, Fred Hale Sr. has seen a lot. There's one thing he'd like to see again. Hale, documented as the world's oldest man, is a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan.

Hale already has seen the Red Sox become the only team in baseball postseason history to overcome an 0-3 start to advance. Boston is up 2-0 on the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

Can the Red Sox win their first World Series since 1918?

"That's the question," said Hale. "We'll wait and see. Luck goes one way and goes out the other."

Those aren't reassuring words for the Red Sox Nation. It's just that Hale has seen a lot.

Nevertheless, on game nights, Hale sits with his 84-year-old son, Fred, Jr., to watch the first few innings of each World Series game before going to bed. Both live at The Nottingham, a senior residence center in Syracuse.

The senior Hale will turn 114 on Dec. 1. He is recognized as the world's oldest man by the Gerontology Research Group at the UCLA School of Medicine, a group that documents people over 100.

Hale was born in New Sharon, Maine. He retired as a railway postal clerk in 1957.

Hale became a celebrity of sorts in 1995 when Guinness World Records named him the world's oldest licensed driver at age 107. He made the network news that same year when a television cameraman caught him on his front porch roof shoveling off snow.

Hale said he was surprised to see the Red Sox finally knock off the Yankees.

"They've got to do it again now," he said.

To win the World Series, Boston must overcome the much-hyped "Curse of the Bambino," supposedly incurred when the Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees more than 80 years ago.

"He was a great pitcher," said Hale, referring to how Ruth, baseball's immortal slugger, first earned his fame in Boston.

Hale said he also remembered how the great Ted Williams sometimes stopped at a lobster pound owned by his daughter Carolyn, where Williams was eager to talk about anything except baseball.

Carolyn died 12 years ago. Hale said he wanted the Red Sox to win a championship because his daughter had always wanted one so badly.

His hearing and sight are failing, and he needs a wheelchair to move about, but Hale said he otherwise feels "pretty fair."

Reminded that researchers regard him as the world's oldest man, he said, "I don't believe it. And I ain't going to die just to satisfy them."

One of New England's oldest residents who was born in Halifax dies at age 111

Thu Nov 4, 5:34 PM ET

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - One of New England's oldest residents, who died at 111, will be remembered Saturday with a champagne toast.

"I was digging out a magnum of champagne," said Gordon Muise, 81, of Westborough, Mass. He plans to bring it to a luncheon following a funeral mass for his mother, Virginia Muise. "It isn't often you have a mother who lives to 111."

Virginia Muise died Tuesday at the Grafton County Nursing Home in North Haverhill. A widow, Muise is survived by four children, 18 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

Muise was born in Halifax on July 27, 1893. She was 16 when the Titanic sank in 1912, and remembered seeing coffins of the victims stacked on docks there.

"Her father worked on the docks and she actually watched (survivors) disembark," said Eileen Bolander, Muise's nursing home administrator.

In 1917, the family survived an ammunition ship explosion that killed about 2,000 people in Halifax. "The whole city blew out its windows," Muise said.

In 1923, the family moved to Boston - home of the Red Sox who were World Series (news - web sites) champions in 1918 - and Virginia Muise took a shine to baseball. She was a regular visitor to Fenway Park, taking advantage of ticket discounts offered to women.

Nursing home staff said she kept a Red Sox cap in her bed and was delighted when the team won the World Series last month. "She loved the Red Sox. She was passionate about them," Bolander said.

In Boston, she worked as a housekeeper and cook before becoming manager of the cafeteria at the former Boston Lying-In Hospital, where she stayed until retiring at 65.

Her husband, Charles Muise, was a blacksmith. He died in 1977 at 94.

According to a Los Angeles-based group called the Gerontology Research Group, Virginia Muise was the oldest known New Englander and No. 31 of the 59 oldest people in the world. The group keeps track of super centenarians - people over 110. There was no other New Englander listed, unless you count a 113-year-old man who was born in Maine and moved to New York.

World's oldest man dies in New York

He was 113 years old

Saturday, November 20, 2004 Posted: 0741 GMT (1541 HKT)

DEWITT, New York (AP) -- Fred Hale Sr., documented as the world's oldest man, died on Friday.

Hale died in his sleep at The Nottingham in suburban Syracuse, while trying to recover from a bout of pneumonia, his grandson, Fred Hale III, said.

He was 12 days shy of his 114th birthday.

Born December 1, 1890, Hale last month watched his lifelong favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, win the World Series again after 86 years.

Hale retired 50 years ago as a railroad postal worker and beekeeper, his grandson said.

He enjoyed gardening, canning fruits and vegetables and making homemade applesauce.

"He had a routine and he rarely broke it because anyone else was around," Hale III told The Post-Standard of Syracuse. "He didn't need a lot to be happy."

At age 95, Hale flew to Japan to visit a grandson who was in the Navy. While en route back to the United States, he stopped in Hawaii and even gave boogie-boarding a try.

At 103, Hale was still living on his own and shoveling the snow off his rooftop.

He was born in New Sharon, Maine, when there were only 43 stars on the American flag. He married Flora Mooers in 1910.

Hale lived in his native Maine until he was 109, when he moved to the Syracuse area to be near his son, Fred Jr., now 82.

On March 5, 2004, the Guinness World Records acknowledged him as the oldest living man when Joan Riudavets Moll, of Spain, passed away at age 114.

Hale also was a Guinness record-holder for the oldest driver. At age 108, he still found slow drivers annoying, Fred Hale III said.

Hale outlived his wife, who died in 1979, and three of his five children. He had nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

The world's oldest living man is now Hermann Dornemann, of Germany, age 111.

There are 26 living woman older than him, according to Gerontology Research Group.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press.

105-year-old woman makes her first-ever visit to the doctor: Report

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) - A 105-year-old Bosnian granny has been treated by a doctor for the first time in her life, a Bosnian news agency reported Wednesday.

Milja Markovic slipped in her house in a remote mountain village near Srebrenica in eastern Bosnia earlier this week and broke her leg, her son Momir told Srna news agency. He said his mother had never been ill in her life.

Markovic was not even registered in the files of the local hospital in Srebrenica, located some 70 kilometres northeast of Sarajevo.

Brazilian, 125, May Be the Oldest Woman

Fri Mar 4, 7:42 AM ET

By STAN LEHMAN, Associated Press Writer

SAO PAULO, Brazil - An elderly woman living in a small, wooden shack in rural southern Brazil could be the world's oldest living woman, according to a Brazilian record-keeping organization.

Maria Olivia da Silva, who recently celebrated her 125th birthday, "is definitely the oldest living woman in Brazil and possibly in the entire world," said Iolete Cadari, administrative director of RankBrasil, this country's equivalent to the Guinness World Records.

Da Silva's birth certificate shows that she was born Feb. 28, 1880 in the city of Itapetininga, Sao Paulo state, Cadari said by telephone. She currently lives in the small town of Astorga, some 370 miles west of Sao Paulo in the state of Parana.

Laura McTurk, a spokeswoman for Guinness World Records in London said by e-mail that the organization was researching its records for any information on da Silva. She said Guinness may have an official statement on Friday.

According to the Guinness World Records Web site, the world's oldest woman is 113-year-old Hendrikje Van Andel-Schipper, who was born June 29, 1890.

Da Silva, whom Cadari described as "mentally sound and rational," was married twice and has outlived all but three of her 14 children — four of them adopted.

"Her memory is impressive and she loves to talk," Cadari said, adding that Da Silva lives with her 58-year-old adopted son, Aparecido H. Silva.