John Evans (supercentenarian)

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For other people named John Evans, see John Evans (disambiguation).

John Evans (19 August 1877 – 10 June 1990) of Fforestfach, Swansea,[1] was the longest-lived authenticated man ever from the United Kingdom from 27 May 1989 until 29 March 2009, when Henry Allingham broke his record. Evans was also the oldest recognized living man at the time of his death and is the oldest ever Welsh-born person. Reportedly, Evans had a birth certificate to verify his longevity claim.

Biography[edit]

Evans had been a Welsh coal miner, and became the oldest man in the United Kingdom ever when he broke the record of England's John Mosely Turner (1856–1968). In March 1986, at 108, Evans was the oldest person to be fitted with a pacemaker, from which he made a quick recovery.[2] Evans repeatedly attributed his longevity to abstinence from smoking, drinking and swearing.[3][4] On his 110th birthday, he visited London for the first time in his life.[2] According to a news item published on his death:

The lively, talkative character who thoroughly enjoyed all the publicity surrounding each birthday milestone, passed away in his sleep at his cottage in Fforest-fach, West Glamorgan, said his daughter-in-law Mrs Betty Evans. "A big gap has been left in our lives. The longer John was with us, the harder it was going to be to say goodbye," she added. "Everyone will always have such happy memories of him. He brightened up people's lives, young and old. "John went very peacefully, in his chair beside his bed. He had been a little unwell for a few days." Mr Evans was born in 1877, the year Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India. He delighted in talking of his memories of Gladstone, the Boer War and Lloyd George. He made medical history when at 108 he became the oldest person to be fitted with a heart pacemaker. Doctors at Cardiff's University Hospital were astounded when he was able to return home just three days later. "It's given me a new lease of life – and I don't have to go back to have new batteries put in for another 10 years" he joked at the time.

The article went on:

Mr Evans went down the mines when he was 13 and was forced to retire at 73 because of National Coal Board rules at the time. He was a founding member of the National Union of Mineworkers in south Wales. Many of his family of three sons and a daughter, six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, live locally and were regular visitors to his cottage. His daily routine always started with his favourite breakfast – a bowl of bran and a little honey in boiled water.

The British male longevity record set by Evans, who died at 112 years and 295 days old, was surpassed by Henry Allingham on 29 March 2009.[5] Evans is recognised as the world's oldest man from 25 November 1988, from the death of Alphaeus Philemon Cole, until Evans' death.[6] Guinness had recognised Evans as the "world's oldest man" in 1989, but let the title lapse after his death, only to bring it back in 2000.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Five score and 12". The Guardian. 11 June 1990. p. 39. 
  2. ^ a b "World's oldest man dies aged 112". The Guardian. 11 June 1990. p. 2. 
  3. ^ "Man Believed World's Oldest, 112, Said Abstinence Led To Longevity". The Seattle Times. 11 June 1990. 
  4. ^ "111-YEAR-OLD'S SECRETS: GOOD DIET, NO SWEARING", Deseret News, August 20, 1988. Accessed 5 December 2012
  5. ^ Validated supercentenarians who lived and/or died in the UK The Gerontology Research Group
  6. ^ World's oldest man since 1973
Preceded by
Alphaeus Philemon Cole
Oldest recognised living man
25 November 1988 – 10 June 1990
Succeeded by
Henri Pérignon
Oldest recorded verified man ever
3 January 1990 – 18 November 1992
Succeeded by
Frederick Frazier
Preceded by
John Mosely Turner
Oldest man from the United Kingdom
27 May 1989 – 29 March 2009
Succeeded by
Henry Allingham