Antonio Todde

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Antonio Todde
Todde (right) at age 112
Born (1889-01-22)22 January 1889
Tiana, Italy
Died 3 January 2002(2002-01-03)
(aged 112 years, 346 days)
Military career
Allegiance  Italy
Service/branch  Italian Army
Battles/wars First World War

Antonio Todde (22 January 1889 – 3 January 2002)[1] was the oldest man in the world from the death of American John Painter[citation needed] until Todde's own death[citation needed] on January 3, 2002, at age 112 years, 346 days.[1] For a short time, he was also considered the oldest person in Italian history,[citation needed] and the third-oldest military veteran ever.[citation needed]

Long-lived family[edit]

Todde was born in the village of Tiana, in the province of Nuoro, Sardinia.[2] The hilly countryside of Nuoro is noted for its remarkable centenarian density.[3] Among the extremely small number of people who reach supercentenarian age worldwide, males are a pronounced minority.[citation needed] Still, at the end of his life, Todde was only one of two known living Sardinian supercentenarians, the other being Giovanni Frau of Orroli, who was then 111.[3]

After becoming a widower, Todde's daughters, Laura, 79, and Angela, 76—comparative youngsters in a family where one of his cousins, Michela Deiana, also lived until age 100— looked after him.[3] His father lived to be 90; his mother might well have lived past her centenary, had rotten cheese not intervened at age 98.[4] At the time of Todde's death, his sister was still going strong at 97.[3]

Life in Sardinia[edit]

Born to a poor shepherd family in the medieval center of Tiana, Todde was the third of 12 children. He attended school for a year before following his father and their flock of sheep up the steep mountain paths to green pastures several days' walk away.[citation needed]

During his 65 years in the high pastures, Todde only travelled by foot or on horseback. He could remember hearing a strange noise at the age of seven and discovering a "cart with an engine", but he generally avoided traveling by car.[citation needed]

In 1920, he married Maria Antonia, then aged 25, and they had four daughters and a son. She died in 1990, aged 95. The first time Todde saw a television was at a market in the town of Nuoro in 1954 (the same year RAI started broadcasting), and he would cycle 30 miles each night to watch its fuzzy pictures of dancing girls. Years later, he conceded that he still enjoyed the scantily clad dancers on variety shows.[citation needed]

Military service[edit]

He left Sardinia only to fight in the First World War. While recovering from a grenade wound in northern Italy he saw his first airplane and took a shot at it.[citation needed]

He was wounded in the Battle of Mount Grappa in the First World War, and was for a time the longest-lived known person ever to have fought in a war.[citation needed] On 19 December 2005 however, Todde's record as the oldest war combatant was ostensibly surpassed by Moses Hardy of the United States. A recent census find, however, suggests Hardy could have been one year younger.[citation needed][original research?] Thus, Todde remains the oldest verified man in the history of Italy and was the oldest proven combat veteran on record until his record was overtaken by Henry Allingham in May 2009.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


Preceded by
John Painter
Oldest recognized living man
March 1, 2001 – January 3, 2002
Succeeded by
Yukichi Chuganji