These incredibly resilient men and women have lived since the United States had only 45 states. They were children when the Model T Ford was invented, lived through the sinking of the Titanic, and were already in their 40s when World War II raged. As of March 2013, they are the last living people born in the 1800s.
This Japanese supercentenarian was born on 19 April 1897, making him the longest living verified man in history. He grew up in Kyotango, Kyoto, and worked most of his adult life as a farmer and a postal worker. He has had the bitter accomplishment of outliving two of his seven children.
The world’s oldest woman was born in Osaka, Japan on 5 March 1898. She married in 1919 and had three children, two of whom are still alive today and are over the age of 90. Recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest woman in the world in 2013, she was given a certificate at her nursing home in Osaka.
Born in the Lombardy region of Italy on 3 April 1899, Redaelli-Granoli is the oldest living person in Italy. She was hospitalized in 2007 after falling and fracturing a femur. At age 104, this was the first time she had ever been hospitalized in her life!
Elsie Thompson is the oldest living American. She has always lived a politically charged life. She is still a staunch Republican and sings hymns regularly. When asked the secret to her long life, she answers simply and sagely that “I love people”.
Born in Inkster, Michigan on 23 May 1899, Talley is the fifth oldest person in the world. She is the oldest living black person and the oldest person in Michigan. When asked for an insight into her incredible vitality, she said “the Lord”.
Susannah Mushatt Jones
Born on 6 July 1899, Jones is the oldest living person in the State of New York, and the sixth oldest living person in the world. She was born in Lowndes County in Alabama and was the third of eleven children.
Born on 24 July 1899, Madigan is the oldest resident of Massachusetts. Born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, she moved to Cheshire, Massachusetts – where she still lives today – when she was 6. On her 110th birthday, it was reported that she took no vitamins or daily medicine to maintain her incredible health.
Soledad Mexia was born on 13 August 1899 and is the oldest living Mexican. Although incredibly spritely for her age, she, unfortunately, lost a leg to an infection in the spring of 2010.
An American supercentenarian born on 14 August 1899, Evelyn Kozak is the last surviving Jew born in the 1800s. She was born and raised in the Lower East Side of New York City and was one of nine children.
Mitsue Nagasaki was born in Kure City in Hiroshima, Japan on 18 September 1899, and still lives there today.
Born on 29 November 1899, Emma Morano-Martinuzzi lives in her apartment today without any sort of medical assistance or nursing. As an Italian, she says part of what has kept her alive this long is a daily bit of chocolate and Mediterranean wine.
Grace Jones is the youngest of the supercentenarians born in the 1800s. She was born in London, England on 7 December 1899, and is the oldest person in the United Kingdom today. She attributes her long life to “good, English food, never anything frozen.”