Oldest Man Who Ever Lived: At a verified 120 years 237 days before he died in February 1986, Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan is the undisputed record holder. Here, he is holding court with children born after he was 110. (1987 Guinness Book of World Record, since broken in 1997)

Edited by Peter Y. Chou, WisdomPortal.com

  • 1987 Guinness Book of World Record

    The 1982 census in China revealed only 2450 centernarians of whom two thirds were women. In the U.S., the mid-1983 figure was 32,000. Birth and death registration, however, became complete only in 1933 and was onl 30.9% complete by 1915.

    The greatest authenticated age to which any human has ever lived is a unique 120 years 237 days in the case of Shigechiyo Izumi of Asan, Tokunoshima Island, Japan. He was born on the island on June 29, 1865, and recorded as a 6-year old in Japan's first census of 1871. He died at his home at 12:15 GMT on Feb. 21, 1986 after developing pneumonia.

    The oldest living person after Mr. Izumi's death probably is 113-year-old Mrs. Mamie Eva Keith (née Walter) born on March 22, 1873 at Anna, Illinois.

    The National Statistical Service of Greece recorded that Liakou Efdokia (born Jan. 4, 1864) died on Jan. 17, 1982, aged 118 years 13 days. Birth registration was however admitted to be fragmentary before 1920. If corroborated by census or other checks she would from May 6, 1977 have been the oldest ever female.

    The government of Colombia issued an airmail postage stamp in 1956 in honor of a man named Javier Pereira who died that year after supposedly having been born 167 years previous, in 1789. A skin doctor who examined the man years before he died estimated that the cells of his skin indicated an age of at least 145 years. However, no birth certificate or family Bible exists to establish the date of his birth.


Longevity News from Around the World

One Spoonful of Bee Pollen Each Day, and You, Too, Might Make It to 113
[Fred Hale is America's oldest man, born Dec. 1, 1890]
(By MICHELLE YORK, Dec. 2, 2003)
Oldest Person Ready To Turn 114
[Charlotte Benkner, North Lima, Ohio, was born Nov. 16, 1889 in Germany]
(By Associated Press, CBS News, Nov. 15, 2003)
Madame Chiang, 105, Chinese Leader's Widow, Dies (By SETH FAISON, NY TIMES, Oct. 24, 2003)
Margaret Murie, 101, Who Helped Save Wilderness, Dies (By STUART LAVIETES, NY TIMES, Oct. 23, 2003)
Living Longer and Larger: It's in the Size of Cholesterol-Carrying Molecules
[Centenarians have larger than average lipoproteins which add 20 years of life]
(By MARY DUENWALD, NY TIMES, Oct. 15, 2003)
World's oldest person stays awake for birthday
[Born in 1887, Kamato Hongo celebrates her 116th birthday]
(Associated Press, Ananova News, Sept. 17, 2003)
Japan celebrates having 20,000 100-year-olds
[Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world,
85.2 years for women and 78.2 for men.]
(Associated Press, Ananova News, Sept. 9, 2003)
Nation's Oldest Dies At 113
[Mary Dorothy Christian, San Pablo, CA was born June 12, 1889, Taunton, MA]
(By Associated Press, CBS News, Apr. 22, 2003)
Oldest American man, 113, dies in Florida
[John McMorran, of Lakeland, Michigan was born June 19, 1889]
(By Associated Press, CNN News, Feb. 25, 2003)
George E. Freestone, Oldest Known Scout, Is Dead at 104
[Born in Safford, Ariz., on July 28, 1898; joined Scouts in 1910]
(By DOUGLAS MARTIN, NY Times, Feb. 17, 2003)
World's oldest person has lie-in on 115th birthday
[Kamato, who was born on September 16, 1887,
sleeps for two days and stays up for two days]
(Associated Press, Ananova News, Sept. 16, 2002)
Brazilian claims to be oldest person alive
[Ana Martins da Silva claims she is 121]
(Associated Press, Ananova News, March 28, 2002)
World's Oldest Person Dies
[Maud Farris-Luse of Grand Rapids, Michigan, dies at 115]
(CBS News, March 19, 2002)
Oldest person in the world turned 122 on February 21, 1997
[Jeanne Louise Calment was born in Arles, France on Feb. 21, 1875.
She once met Vincent Van Gogh in her father's shop.
She died at 122 on Monday August 4, 1997]
(wowzone.com, update 8-4-1997)
France's Jeanne Calment, world's oldest woman, dead at 121
[She took up fencing at 85, rode a bicycle at 100, released a rap CD at 121]
(Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Aug. 4, 1997)

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