• We have updated the guidelines regarding posting political content: please see the stickied thread on Website Issues.

The World's Oldest People (Documented; Verified)

'Oldest' Belgian died 51 years ago


'Oldest' Belgian died 51 years ago

09:52 Monday 21st March 2005

Officials have discovered that a woman proclaimed to be the eldest living Belgian actually died half a century ago.

Angèle Vanmeerbeek was said to be the country's oldest living person last year when authorities reckoned she was 109.

But when politicians went to congratulate her, they found she was no longer at the address in Charleroi where computers reckoned she still lived.

Officials were baffled as their records maintained she had not moved or died and they spent months looking for her.

But reporters of Het Laaste Nieuws have now discovered the bargeman's wife moved in 1939 to a small village near Paris where she died in 1954.

Another woman, Maria Verkeyn, 108, from Zedelgem has now been named as oldest Belgian in her place.


Woman Insists She's Not a Day Over 105

Mar 30, 4:11 PM (ET)

RED LION, Pa. (AP) - Minnie Stein had just one complaint on her 106th birthday. She was sure she was only 105. "She always thought that she was a year younger," Stein's daughter, Joan Gillespie, said on her mother's birthday Tuesday.

But Gillespie said a birth certificate obtained from Harrisburg showed that her mother was born in 1899. "She was not happy about it at all!"

Stein struggles to hear and see. She makes her way around her small apartment, 26 steps up from the street, slowly but steadily and resists entreaties to move in with family members or into an assisted living home. "She won't hear of it," Gillespie said.

Stein has lived alone since her husband, Ervin Stein, died at age 52. She worked at a cigar factory until she was 70, has been in good health and said she didn't need dentures until she was about 103. She takes no medications and attributed her longevity to eating well and taking vitamins.

While Stein said she would have made some decisions differently in life, she wouldn't elaborate, preferring to talk about memories of a beautiful sunset, helping her father plant corn, and traveling across the Continental Divide.

"One day when I was going along the road I just heard a bird singing so beautiful, and the air was so clean and so fresh," she said. "I will never forget it."

Veteran celebrates 109th birthday
Scotland's oldest veteran of World War I has been celebrating his 109th birthday.
Family and friends marked the occasion in Alfred Anderson's home town of Alyth, Perthshire, on Saturday.

The father-of-five was also due to be joined by Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin, Colonel of his old regiment the Black Watch.

The veteran, who received his tenth telegram from the Queen, said: "I don't feel any different."

His son-in-law, Graeme Maxwell, said he had been busy opening a host of cards and gifts from well-wishers.

Teen soldier

He said: "He's enjoying his day, just taking it all in. He's a remarkable man."

Mr Maxwell, 74, who is married to the 109-year-old's youngest child Christine, 71, said the day would also see the unveiling of a sculpture in honour of Mr Anderson.

Scots artist Tony Morrow, who created the much-loved Desperate Dan statue in Dundee city centre, has made a special bust of the soldier.

It will go on display at Alyth Library before becoming part of an exhibition at the Black Watch museum in Perth.

Born in Dundee in 1896, Mr Anderson signed up for the army as a teenager and found himself amongst one of the first units to go into France after WWI broke out.

After the war he took over his father's building and joinery business and brought up his family.

He said he puts his good health down to staying clear of cigarettes and too much alcohol, but could do with a new pair of legs.
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/s ... 622263.stm
Published: 2005/06/25 17:03:43 GMT

Last edited by a moderator:
The oldest person in the UK has died at the age of 113

Most senior citizen dies aged 113

The oldest person in the UK has died at the age of 113.

Lucy d'Abreu, who was born in India in 1892, passed away peacefully at a nursing home in Stirling on Wednesday.

Mrs d'Abreu lived through the reigns of six monarchs, the turn of two centuries and almost every major discovery of the modern world.

The great, great grandmother had spent 74 years in Ireland with her surgeon husband, moving to Scotland at the age of 106 to be near one of her children.

Mrs d'Abreu was given the middle name Victoria after the reigning monarch when she was born.

Friends said that until the last she enjoyed food, books and conversation.

She had six children, 13 grandchildren and many great and great, great grandchildren.

She attributed her long life to the grace of God and a "customary sun-downer of brandy and dry ginger ale".

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/s ... 512526.stm

Published: 2005/12/09 07:34:30 GMT

I'll tell my mum that she's been promoted. I wonder how long she'll have to wait for the ultimate accolade of "UK's oldest citizen"?

That's the trouble with "dead man's shoes"-type promotion ;)
They're dropping like flies . . . . .

UK's 'oldest' man dies, aged 111

A Polish army veteran - thought to have been Britain's oldest man - has died at a nursing home in Cumbria. Jerzy Pajaczkowski-Dydynski - known as George - who was 111, lived in Sedbergh until ill-health forced a move to a nursing home in Grange over Sands.

The former colonel was born in what is now the Ukraine, but was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, in 1894. He escaped the German invasion of Poland in 1940 and worked as a gardener in Scotland before moving to Cumbria.

His son-in-law Richard Thomas from Birks Fold, said he and other members of the family had seen the highly decorated veteran at the Boarbank Hall nursing home before he died on 6 December. Mr Thomas said: "We saw him on the day he died. He had a very colourful and eventful life."

Mr Dydynski studied law at the University of Vienna, but when World War I broke out joined the Polish Army and saw service in the war between Russia and Poland in the 1920's.

He was still with the army when Germany invaded Poland in 1939, but eventually managed to escape to Britain.

He spent months in hospital after falling ill on New Year's Eve 2003 and breaking his hip.

The colonel was born in Lwow on 19 July, 1894, and moved to Sedbergh from Edinburgh in 1993 with his now late second wife Dorothy.

The family said his long life was down to his positive outlook and, until recently, a daily half glass of Guinness.

He leaves 10 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

The colonel was called up to the Austrian Infantry in 1915 and became a sergeant before going to Montenegro and Albania where he fought against the Italians.

He married in 1924 but his first wife later died so he married again in 1946.

Family from Poland, Britain, the US, Australia and France are due to attend a funeral service at Sedbergh Parish Church on 12 December.

Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/12/10 12:45:10 GMT


Thought I'd just add this on as an edit:

Veteran's life in his own words

Polish war veteran Jerzy Pajaczkowski-Dydynski - thought to have been Britain's oldest man - has died aged 111.

Here is an extract from a self-penned history of his own life, written in July 1984 for his granddaughter Tabitha.

I was born on 19 July 1894 in Lwów, then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

When I was eight-years-old my father became head of the general Hospital in the town of Sanok, and I left Lwów. I studied German, Latin and Greek and in 1912 I started reading law at the University of Lwów.

I went to Vienna in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I and expected to be called up at any time. I was called up in 1915 to the Austrian infantry.

My training took place chiefly in Hungary and Bosnia. In 1916 as a sergeant I went to Montenegro and Albania, against the Italians. My unit was transferred in 1918 to northern Italy, where in the last hours of the war, I was captured by Italian cavalry and became a prisoner of war.

As a Pole I was able to get in touch with a Polish-French military mission in Italy and eventually became free at Christmas 1918 and was sent to France.

Back in Poland I soon became a full lieutenant and staff officer in an infantry division. I took part in the 1920-21 Polish War against Soviet Russia. At the end of it I was moved to the Polish 2nd Army. After two years of intense work I became a captain.

I married in 1924 and was stationed in Przemysl. I became a major in 1925 and was sent to the front line as commander of an infantry battalion. In 1928 I was promoted, but there was no time for hobbies and very little time for my own family.

In 1930 I was moved to Warsaw and in 1935 I became a lieutenant-colonel and second in command of an infantry regiment in a small town east of Warsaw called Biala Podlaska.

At the outbreak of war in 1939 I was at the general headquarters of the Polish Army in Warsaw. After the defeat of Poland and the Soviet invasion the whole Polish GHQ crossed the Romanian frontier and was interned.

My family had left Warsaw by means of an evacuation train. I was able to trick the Romanian military police and reach Bucharest to collect my family. We managed to reach Paris, where I continued my army work.

After the collapse of France in 1940 I tried to reach different French harbours in order to escape to England. We landed in Plymouth on 28 June 1940. After staying at various military camps in Lanarkshire and Peebles I was sent to Perth as commander of the Polish Garrison.

My last job in Edinburgh in 1943 was as a member of a committee translating and adapting British military regulations and manuals for the use of Polish Units.

In 1964 I was promoted to full colonel.

I received a number of Polish decorations - the Cross of Polonia Restituta; Cross of Valour (1920); Silver Cross of Merit (1925). A Romanian decoration of distinction (1931). I also received three Austrian decorations in WWI for active service.

In 1946 I had married again, and in 1993 we moved from Edinburgh to Sedbergh to be near my daughter Dorcas and her husband Richard.

I was able to visit Poland in 1996 for the first time after the war. My 100th birthday in 1997 was celebrated with a telegram from the Queen.

On my 107th birthday on 19 July 2001, I was honoured that the President of Poland bestowed on me the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2005/12/10 14:00:55 GMT

Jackrabbit Johansson

Back in the mid-1980s possibly the single most famous athlete in the history of the Winter Olympics, Jackrabbit Johannson, died at the age of 111. The man who introduced skiing to Canada in the 1890s, "the Jackrabbit" last skied in the 1982 Olympics at age 107 (admittedly in a ceremonial turn). He also delivered a rousing Olympic speech (carried world-wide on television) on "Enthusiasm."

Now if a genuinely world-famous individual such as Johannson makes it to 111, why aren't there a greater number of 111-year-olds down here among the rest of us?
Ecuadorean Woman, 116, Is World's Oldest By JEANNETH VALDIVIESO, Associated Press Writer
Sat Dec 17,12:51 AM ET

At 100 years old, she became bedridden and so weakened from a stomach ailment that a priest administered last rites. But Maria Esther de Capovilla recovered, and 16 years later she has become the oldest person on Earth, according to Guinness World Records.

Born on Sept. 14, 1889, the same year as Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler, Capovilla was married the year the United States entered World War I — 1917 — and widowed in 1949.

"We see the condition she is in, and what is admirable is not only that she reached this age, but that she got here in this shape, in very good health," Capovilla's daughter, Irma, told an Associated Press reporter at the home where her mother lives in this coastal city.

Seated on a sofa and waving a fan with a slender, steady hand in the tropical heat, Capovilla seemed bemused by the presence of strangers. Irma, 79, leaned close to her mother's ear, and speaking in a loud voice, told her she was famous because she was the world's oldest person.

Capovilla shook her head and smiled.

Her calm disposition may be the secret to her longevity, her daughter said.

"She always had a very tranquil character," Irma said. "She does not get upset by anything. She takes things very calmly and she has been that way her whole life."

Capovilla, who comes from a well-to-do family, was confirmed as the oldest person on Dec. 9, after her family sent details of her birth and marriage certificates to the British-based publisher. She takes the oldest person title from 115-year-old American Elizabeth Bolden, Guinness World Records said in a statement e-mailed to AP.

Emiliano Mercado Del Toro, of Puerto Rico, retains the title as oldest man, at 114.

The oldest person ever whose age was authenticated, according to Guinness, was a woman named Jeanne Louise Calment, who lived to 122 years and 164 days. She was born in France on Feb. 21, 1875, and died at a nursing home in Arles in southern France on Aug. 4, 1997.

Three of Capovilla's five children — daughters Irma and Hilda, 81, and son Anibal, 77, — are still alive, along with 10 of her 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and two great-great grandchildren, the last of whom was born in February 2003.

In her youth, Capovilla liked to embroider, paint, play piano and dance the waltz at parties, the family said. She also visited a nearby plantation, where she would drink fresh donkey and cow milk.

She always ate three meals a day and never smoked or drank hard liquor — "only a small cup of wine with lunch and nothing more," Irma said.

For the past 20 years, Capovilla has lived with her elder daughter, Hilda, and son-in-law, Martin.

Fervently religious, Capovilla says her prayers daily, takes communion every Friday and always joins the family for meals, enjoying lentils and chicken for lunch, which she eats unassisted with fork and knife in small bites, Irma said.

At night, she has coffee with hot milk and bread with cheese or jam, and she says she can't do without something sweet: gelatin, ice cream or cake.

Capovilla still likes to watch television and reads newspaper headlines, with some difficulty, but never with glasses. She has not been able to leave the house in nearly two years. A home assistant helps her walk without the aid of a cane or wheelchair.

In recent years, her family said, she has become less communicative as her hearing worsened and her memory has started to fade. "Her memory is not bad. She remembers many things, but not everything. She is not 100 percent lucid," said Irma.

Irma and Hilda showed Capovilla a portrait of their father, an Austrian sailor who came to Ecuador in 1910. After peering intently for a moment, Capovilla recognized the image.

"It is Antonio Capovilla," she said.

"I was at the plantation Josefina and they brought a friend," she said, explaining in a soft voice how she was introduced to the man who would become her husband.

I don't know which thread it was, but someone was talking about humans being genetically engineered to live longer in the same way nematode worms have. Someone was saying he didn't think it could happen, as people seem to have only expanded a few years in lifespan in the last few decades. And that we might have reached the end of our ability to live longer. I was at a talk the other day by Armand Leroi, author of the book Mutants and a geneticists specialising in nematode worms. I asked him his thoughts on it, and he said he definitely thought humans could benefit from geneering, althought it would be more complicated than with the worms. Just thought I'd mention that.
World's oldest woman dies at 116
Maria Esther de Capovilla - officially the world's oldest woman - has died in Ecuador aged 116, relatives said.
Capovilla died at dawn on Sunday in the coastal city of Guayaquil after succumbing to pneumonia. Her funeral was planned for Monday.

Born in 1889, the same year as Charlie Chaplin and Adolf Hitler, Capovilla was 22 when the Titanic sank and 79 when astronauts first set foot on the Moon.

Her family said donkey milk might be key to her longevity.

Capovilla was born in Guayaquil, to a well-to-do Ecuadorean family which traced its ancestry to the Spanish conquistadores.

Her family was expecting to have a 117th birthday party
Robert Young
Gerontology consultant, Guinness World Records

She was said to enjoy painting, embroidery, dancing and walking. In her youth she would also drink fresh milk from the donkeys at her aunt's farm - something relatives credit with helping her live so long.

She is said never to have smoked, ate regular small meals, and only drank in moderation.

She was also fervently religious, and took communion every Friday, said reports.

'Good health'

She married Antonio Capovilla, an Austrian sailor, in 1917, and was widowed in 1949.

They had five children, three of whom are still alive, and 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

She spent the last 20 years living with her daughter and son-in-law, and generally enjoyed good health, Robert Young, adviser to Guinness World Records, told Associated Press.

"She was in good shape until she had a bout of pneumonia and she died unexpectedly. Her family was expecting to have a 117th birthday party," Mr Young said.

"They had recently said that she was in good health."

Capovilla was officially certified the world's oldest woman on 8 December 2005, after her family sent extensive documentation to the Guinness World Records.

Capovilla's likely successor as oldest woman is an American, Elizabeth Bolden of Memphis, Tennessee, said Mr Young.

"She is 116, but she was born 11 months after Capovilla," he said.

The oldest man is 115, and the oldest person ever to have lived is documented as Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment, who died in 1997 aged 122.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/1/hi/w ... 293436.stm

Published: 2006/08/28 17:37:29 GMT

Question, how old was the oldest person (with proven documents) when they died? Most unproven oldies (no birth cert) seem to claim about 126, but all official cases seem closer to 113/4. Hmmm?

World's oldest woman dies at 115

The world's oldest woman has died at the age of 115 in a Montreal retirement home, Canadian media have reported.
Julie Winnefred Bertrand was born 16 September 1891 in the Quebec mill town of Coaticook near the US border.

She was officially proclaimed the world's oldest woman, and the second oldest person, after the death of American Elizabeth Bolden in December.

(C) BBC '07
What's the longevity record for individuals more famous for things OTHER than their extreme longevity?

After all, Bob Hope, Madame Chaing Kai-Shek, Irving Berlin, Leni Reifenstahl, Eubie Blake, Rose Kennedy, George Abbott, George Burns, and British aircraft designer Sopwith, among a good many other celebrities, all made it past the century mark.

But the record among already-famous people seems to belong to the great Olympic skier "Jackrabbit" Johanssen, who made it to 111...and who was still skiing at 107!
Kondoru said:
Alexandria David Neel. 101

And didn't Professor Margaret Murray also make it past 100?

P. S. Mea culpa, I almost forgot to list the late Queen Mother!

World's oldest person dies at 115
The world's oldest person, Emiliano Mercado del Toro, has died aged 115 at his home in Puerto Rico.
His great-niece, Dolores Martinez, said he died like a little angel, and that his great great-nephew and a carer were with him at the time.

Mr Mercado del Toro had been having difficult breathing recently but was alert before his death.

(C) BBC '07
Two More Famous Centurnarians

Adolph Zukor, the founder of Hollywood's Paramount Studio, lived to be 103 years old.

Hal Roach, Sr., founder of the Hal Roach Studio, lived to be one hundred.

I find it statistically remarkably that of the eight or 10 major Hollywood studios, TWO of the founders lived to age 100 or more.
It must be that clean, clear, pure Los Angeles air.
I have to confess that as a child I assumed that a statistically noticeable minority of individuals lived to be 120 years old. It was because of a fairly widespread playful insult - "My great-grandmother lived to be 120, and when she'd been dead two weeks she looked better than you do now!"

World's oldest person dies at 114

The world's oldest person, Emma Faust Tillman, has died in the US aged 114.
Mrs Tillman, the daughter of former slaves, died "peacefully" on Sunday night, said an official at a nursing home in Hartford, Connecticut.

Mrs Tillman had lived independently until she was 110 and had never smoked or drank, her family and friends said.

She only became the world's oldest person last week, after the death of a 115-year-old man in Puerto Rico, the Guinness Book of World Records said.

"She was a wonderful woman," said Karen Chadderton, administrator of Riverside health and Rehabilitation Center in Hartford.

Mrs Tillman had been very religious and had always attributed her longevity to God's will, according to her family and friends.

She was born on 22 November 1892 on a plantation near Gibsonville in North Carolina.

In an interview with a local historical society in 1994, Mrs Tillman said her parents had been slaves.

Longevity appears to be common in Mrs Tillman's family - three of her sisters and a brother lived past 100.

Japan's Yone Minagawa, who was born in 1893, is now believed to be the world's oldest person.

(C) BBC '07
His great-niece, Dolores Martinez, said he died like a little angel

So, how do angels die, then? Aren't they supposed to be immortal? ;)
So in just the past 10 days the world's lost two 115-year-olds and one 114-year -old, with all of them in North America.
I've just been informed that former Tarzan film actor Bruce Bennett has now passed the century mark.
OldTimeRadio said:
I've just been informed that former Tarzan film actor Bruce Bennett has now passed the century mark.

Yeah, but he died a couple of weeks ago. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
gncxx said:
Yeah, but he died a couple of weeks ago. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Hey, that's okay. At least he made it to 100.

I guess it was all that nice clean backlot jungle living.
OldTimeRadio said:
gncxx said:
Yeah, but he died a couple of weeks ago. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

Hey, that's okay. At least he made it to 100.

I guess it was all that nice clean backlot jungle living.

Hey, Bennett's Tarzan was filmed in the real jungle!
Wales's Oldest Woman Dies at 109

Wales's oldest woman dies at 109

The woman believed to be the oldest in Wales, Victoria May Owen, has died aged 109, four weeks short of her 110th birthday.

Mrs Owen was born in the Cadoxton area of Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan on 8 June, 1897.

A great-grandmother and mother of four, she ran a private nursing home looking after injured soldiers returning from France during WWI.

Her husband, John, a policeman, died at the age of 63 in the early 1950s.

Her daughter Joyce, 80, said she returned home after running the nursing home.

"She later returned to Barry to work in her family's grocery shop," she said.

Mrs Owen, known as May, died at the Cartref Porthkerry Home in Barry.

She moved into the nursing home just four years ago.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/05/19 08:59:08 GMT

Last edited by a moderator:
Someone who doesn't seem to have yet been mentioned in this discussion is the "revered Sephardic rabbi" and scholar Yitzchak Kaduri. When he died in February, 2006, the lowest estimate given of his age was 106.
Japan centenarians at record high

The number of Japanese people hitting the landmark age of 100 has reached record levels.

There are now 36,276 centenarians in the country - a rise of 4,000 on last year's figure, a report by the Health and Welfare Ministry found.

Women make up the vast majority of those who are living past 100.

Japan has one of the world's longest life expectancies, but there are concerns about the burden this is placing on society.

Both the country's pension system and social services are under pressure from its burgeoning greying population.

Active lives

According to the latest figures, almost 20,000 people were set to turn 100 this year alone - receiving a congratulatory silver cup and letter from the prime minister.

While the number of Japan's centenarians has been rising for the last 40 years, the figures have accelerated in the past decade.

UN projections suggest there will be nearly one million people over 100 years of age in Japan in 2050.

Of the country's current centenarians, a staggering 86% are women.

The ministry, which released its annual report ahead of Japan's Respect For the Aged Day on 15 September, said its elderly population were living more active lives than ever.

Japan's oldest woman is 113 and lives on the southern island of Okinawa, the ministry said.

The oldest man is 112-year-old Tomoji Tanabe from the southern prefecture of Miyazaki. He rises early, reads his morning newspaper, has milk in the afternoon and writes his diary in the evening.

Matsu Yamazaki is 103 years old but still works in her family's grocery shop in Tokyo, looks after her home and does puzzles to keep her mind agile.

"Even if I go on living, I just don't want to lose my mind," she told the BBC in July.

"I know lots of people who've lost their memory. They go out and wander around town and can't find their way home."

The key to Japanese longevity has long been put down to a number of factors, including healthy diets, strong communities and excellent medical care.

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/a ... 612363.stm