ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

World's Oldest People – Past and Present

Updated on April 11, 2012

“Old age befalls us all”, it is sad to say, and with the passing of the years I have pondered the question “Why do we grow old?” To answer that question could take me down another pathway of thinking, so for the purpose of this article I’ll reflect on the elderly who have had the good fortune of being able to enjoy longevity.

A verified supercentenarian is a person whose reported age of 110 or more is supported by at least three documents, submitted in a standard and validated in reliable fashion, by an international body widely recognized for specific expertise in longevity research.

My Grandmother's Longevity

If only she hadn’t fallen!

Lucy Anne may not be on record for having been one of the oldest people to have lived but she goes on my record as one of the “grandest” old ladies living to the grand age of 104years. Born in 1896 she sadly died in 2000 following a fall that her frail body could not withstand. Would she have lived to see her 116th birthday this year 2012, we’ll never know of course!

My grandmother was still gracious and coherent at the age of 104years.

My Grandmother - Lucy Anne
My Grandmother - Lucy Anne

Jeanne Calment

The oldest verified person to have lived was the Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died at the age of 122 years 164 days.

Six Verified Supercentenarian Cases

  1. Besse Cooper – Female, 115yrs – USA
  2. Dina Manfredini – Female, 114yrs – USA
  3. Jiroemon Kimura – Male, 114yrs – Japan
  4. Leila Denmark – Female, 114yrs – USA
  5. Misawo Okawa – Female, 113yrs – Japan
  6. Kame Nakamura – Female, 113yrs - Japan

All of the above mentioned people are still living.

Of the 100 listed oldest people in the world to have lived of which the six cases above are included, only nine are males.

May all of us who have not as yet reached Senior Citizens age group , show patience as the elderly slow down and cope with unwanted aches and pains remembering, old age befalls us all one day!


Oldest Authenticated Supercentenarians

  1. 122 years : Jeanne Calment (France) 1875 - 1997
  2. 119 years : Sarah Knauss (US) 1880 - 1999
  3. 117 years : Lucy Hannah (US) 1875 - 1993
  4. 117 years : Marie-Louise Meilleur (Canada) 1880 - 1998
  5. 116 years : Maria Esther Capovilla (Ecuador) 1889 - 2006
  6. 116 years : Tane Ikai (Japan) 1879 - 1995
  7. 116 years : Elizabeth Bolden (US) 1890 - 2006
  8. 115 years : Maggie Barnes (US) 1882 - 1998
  9. 115 years : Christian Mortensen (Denmark) 1882 - 1998
  10. 115 years : Charlotte Hughes (England) 1877 - 1993

Self Analysis

Maybe I am a Senior Citizen because :-

I’m very good at opening child-proof caps with a hammer.

I’m the life of the party even when it lasts ‘till 8pm.

I’m usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going.

I’m very good at telling stories over and over.

I’m awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.

I’m smiling all the time because I can’t hear a word you’re saying.

I’m wondering, if you’re as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150years?

Whatever the conclusion I’ll still be here on Hubpages!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you Eiddwen and Noemi for commenting on this article and your vote.

      I have a dear friend who is now 104yrs and 9mths living in Australia. She was admitted to hospital a few days ago and is tireing quickly, so sad.

      Have a nice week to you too where it must be quite cold now in the northern hemisphere.

    • Noemi Beres profile image

      Noemi Beres 

      5 years ago from Cyprus

      Great hub LadyLyell, well done. It's interesting to see that half of the supercentenarians are from Japan. Maybe this is something to do with healthy Japanese food. I don't know. Most of them are also female, sounds great :)

    • Eiddwen profile image


      5 years ago from Wales

      How very interesting an useful too. A great share which I vote up,across and share all around. Here's to so many more hubs for us both to share on here in this brand New Year. Have a wonderful weekend.


    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      How nice to read the account of your Grandmothers wish in her old age, sad but her wish none the less. I have wondered how I will feel if put in an Old Age home leaving behind my personal possessions and all that makes "home". It also happened that my Grandmothers children were old themselves when she passed away and in fact one child had died of old age.

      Oh how sad old age is!

    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 

      6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      LadyLyell, your grandmother looks like a very special person, indeed! Perhaps in our lifetimes medicine will discover a way keep falls by the elderly from being an automatic death sentence.

      My own grandmother said reaching 100 was "no big deal" and was put out that there was so much hoopla attached to her 100th birthday, but NONE on her 101st! Other than being a bit forgetful at 103 (but in perfect health otherwise), the daughter she lived with who was in her 80s was getting even more forgetful, so Grandma was placed in a nursing home. As soon as Grandma figured out it WAS a care facility and that she'd never return home again, she stopped eating. Said it was time to "leave" on her own terms. Took ten days to starve herself to death. The grandchildren were the ones who nixed efforts by Grandma's already-elderly children to keep her alive by force feeding. They had had her in their lives decades longer than most "children" ever do and were only wanting to keep her alive out of selfishness.

      Voted up and awesome! ;D

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for stopping by and taking such a keen interest in this article. Old people hold a wealth of experience from which to learn so to embrace old age is to benefit.

      I hope we meet up again soon!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 

      6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      A great hub indeed! Not only well researched, it gives a great message... to embrace the old age.. in general of which people are afraid.

      A great write!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      I relate to the self analysis too because I personally experience them ha, ha!

      Maybe you and I will meet up in those over 100yrs or more to discuss our walking sticks. Do you think we will still be writing articles?

      Have you recovered from your illness?

      My well wishes and thanks for the comment!

    • SanneL profile image


      6 years ago from Sweden

      What a delightful and inspirational hub, my lady! However, I do not see any of the Scandinavian countries in the Supercentenarian list, so what are the odds that I should be one of the first, lol! Sorry about your grandmother, she looked like such a lovely woman. I found your self analysis to be so funny. I believe I can relate to most of them, lol. I hope you are well! Votes up and sharing. Hugs from Sweden.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      I agree, it would be fine to live on many years beyond the norm but only with good health.

      My grandmother was one of those lucky people.

      I'm in that age group where the signs of ageing are setting in and I must admit I don't accept it lightly.

      Thanks for stopping by!

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Oh my, what a small world!

      I can well imagine you were surprised to read of this lady, Leila. I am surprised to learn more about her through this connection.

      Passing on this news has made the article come more to life for me and I'm sure for other readers.

      Your input is always appreciated and I am humbled by a lady of your high learning stopping by.

      Thank you for SHARING!

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 

      6 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Great hub, I've always been fascinated by extreme longevity. I'm not quite sure that I'd want to live that long though. If my good health could be guaranteed, then I would. But sadly those guarantees do not exist. Voted up etc.

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 

      6 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      LadyLyell - What a great Hub. I truly enjoyed this. The woman listed as number (4) on your first list, LEILA DENMARK was a doctor, a no-nonsense pediatrician who lived in the Atlanta, Georgia area and kept practicing into her nineties.

      Several of the ladies in my church took their children to her and they all swore that she kept their children healthy and gave them all sorts of useful parenting and child-rearing advice. They adored her.

      That was 25 years ago, how amazing to see her name in your Hub. :) Thank you. SHARING

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      A good point you make on relocating to Japan.

      Let's be happy to grow old gracefully and hope not to be inflicted with old age ailments.

      Thank you Sharon for the vote!

    • aboutaustralia profile image


      6 years ago from Newcastle, New South Wales

      When I turned 50 I announced that I was 'nearly half way there'. I do hope my prediction is correct, however I may need to relocate to Japan as Australia doesn't seem to be doing very well in the Supercentenarians stakes.

      Very interesting hub, thank you, voted up. Sharon

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Not sure if i would want to live to be over 100 years of age to be honest, wouldn't want anyone to see me in such a fragile state. Would prefer to pass away with my dignity in tact. I love your self-analysis, had to giggle to myself - so true !

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Thank you for the vote and yes it is a feat to reach one hundred years and better still if you have your faculties.

      Have a nice day!

    • Carmen H profile image

      Carmen Beth 

      6 years ago

      Interesting hub. I'll sure be thinking about the world's oldest people record someday and I know I can easily refer to here. Surviving to a hundred is indeed a feat. Voted up and useful.

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      How kindly are your words above and true to what aging and death is all about. My grandmother kept her dignity to the end how fortuneate for her. To lose ones dignity must be the greatest loss in life. I share your fear!

      A few words from you came as a welcomed wake up today, thank you!

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      6 years ago from South Africa

      I have many unwanted aches and pains and I am not yet halfway to 120... If I wake up one morning without a pain somewhere, I will think I am dead...

      So I will definitely not make the shortlist...

      Aging is not for 'sissies'; I hope to never loose my dignity.

      According to your criteria of 'seniorhood', LasyLyell, I must be about 95...

      Sorry about your grandmother. I wish Death was wise... but it has neighter brain nor heart...

      Voted up and interesting :)

    • LadyLyell profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from George, South Africa

      gmwilliams, may you live to be a supercentenarian and maybe we'll bump into each other at a bowls tournament ;-)

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      6 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      This is such a fantastic hub. It demonstrates that one can live to be a centarian and/or beyond. Old age is not be feared but embraced.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)