A supercentenarian (sometimes hyphenated) is someone who has reached the age of 110 years or more, something achieved by only one among hundreds of centenarians. In turn, only about one supercentenarian in fifteen lives to turn 114.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Timeline of oldest-living people
3 Among the oldest ever
4 Among the oldest living,
5 Notably early and long-lived among supercentenarians
6 Reference


While claims of extreme age have persisted from the earliest times in history, the earliest supercentenarian who has substantial scholarly acceptance is Geert Adriaans Boomgaard, who was born in Groningen, Netherlands, September 21, 1788, and died there February 3, 1899.

Over six hundred and fifty supercentenarians have been documented in history, and this is doubtless a fraction of the number who have really lived, but the majority of claims to this age one finds recorded do not have sufficient documentary support to be regarded as validated. This is slowly changing as those born after birth registration was standardized in more countries and parts of countries attain supercentenarian age.

The oldest documented supercentenarian is Jeanne Calment (1875-1997). While her stories of meeting Vincent Van Gogh or attending the 1885 funeral of Victor Hugo might have been embroidered, her life was documented in the records of her native city of Arles, France, beyond reasonable question.

The Guinness Book of World Records in 1978 accepted the age claim of Shigechiyo Izumi, born June 29, 1865, and died February 21, 1986 (the 111th birthday of Jeanne Calment!). However, there is still doubt as to whether he was wrongly conflated with a brother who died young.

For supercentenarians known for anything other than their extreme age, see the centenarians article. Here are a list of other particularly aged individuals:

Timeline of oldest-living people

The following is a list of the oldest people in the world since 1991 and the period for which they were the titleholder:

Oldest living man

  • Shigechiyo Izumi (1865 - 1986), oldest man recognized by Guinness Book of World Records
  • Herman Smith-Johannsen (1875 - 1987), cross-country skier
  • Alphaeus Philemon Cole (1876 - 1988), engraver
  • John Evans (1877 - June 10, 1990), British male recordholder
  • Henri Perignon (October 14, 1879 - June 18, 1990), France
  • James W. Wiggins (October 15, 1879 - 1991), USA
  • Frederick L. Frazier (1880 - 1993), USA
  • Christian Mortensen (August 1882 - April 1998), Danish immigrant to USA, oldest man widely accepted by scholars
  • Johnson Parks (October 1884 - July 1998), black American, lived in Florida
  • Walter Richardson (November 1885 - December 1998), Illinois
  • Denzo Ishisaki (October 1886 - April 1999), only man in post-Izumi years to be oldest person in Japan
  • Antonio Todde (January 1889 - January 2002), in Sardinia
    • Benjamin Harrison Holcomb (July 1889 - 2000), considered the oldest living man by the Guinness Book until Todde was known, in Oklahoma
    • John Ingram McMorran (June 1889 - February 2003), was oldest male in United States 2000-2003
  • Yukichi Chuganji (March 1889 - September 2003), oldest man in world Jan 2002-Sept 2003, in Ogori
  • Joan Riudavets (born December 1889), oldest European, world's oldest man; he rode a bicycle to age 110, on Minorca

Among the oldest ever

  • Sarah Knauss (September 1880 - 1999), oldest in United States history, oldest in world 1998-99
  • Lucy Hannah (1875 - 1993), oldest black American
  • Marie-Louise Meilleur (August 1880 - 1998), oldest Canadian, oldest in world 1997-98
  • Jeanne Calment (1875 - 1997), oldest documented supercentenarian
  • Charlotte Marion Milburn Hughes (1877 - 1993), British longevity recordholder
  • Tane Ikai (1879 - 1995), oldest Japanese woman
  • Christian Mortensen (1882 - 1998), oldest undisputed male, Danish immigrant to USA

Among the oldest living,

  • Charlotte Benkner (born November 1889), is oldest person in United States and apparently in world, was oldest in Arizona before moving to Ohio, is oldest ever born in Germany
  • Hendrikje van Andel (born June 1890), oldest woman in Europe, oldest person in history of Netherlands, third oldest in world after Benkner and Riudavets
  • Fred H. Hale Sr (born December 1890), oldest man in USA since February 2003
  • Ura Koyama (born August 1890), oldest in Japan

Notably early and long-lived among supercentenarians


  • Louis Epstein: The Oldest Human Beings - list of validly-documented supercentenarians (by age and chronological), including a chronological list of the oldest living listed persons since 1955. (For a time in the 1960s the oldest living person did not reach 110.)