Carl Berner (supercentenarian)

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Carl Berner
Carl Berner.jpg
Berner in 2004
Born Carl James Berner
(1902-01-27)January 27, 1902
Stuttgart, Württemberg, Germany
Died January 7, 2013(2013-01-07)
(aged 110 years, 346 days)
New York City, United States
Residence New York City
Nationality German, American
Occupation Civic activist and toymaker
Known for Being a supercentenarian
Spouse(s) Margaret Berner (m.1936–1987, her death)
Children 1

Carl James Berner (January 27, 1902 – January 7, 2013[1]) was a German-born American supercentenarian, civic activist, and former toymaker.[2][3]

Early life and career[edit]

Carl James Berner was born in Stuttgart, then in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire, on January 27, 1902.[2] After his parents died from tuberculosis, his maternal grandmother moved him to France.[2] In 1912, his paternal grandmother moved him back to Germany.[2] In school, Carl studied mechanical manufacturing, among other things.[2] In 1928, he left Germany and moved to the United States.[2] His first job in the United States was as the Night Building Superintendent at the Chrysler Building.[2] He was offered by the U.S. government to become a foreign agent in 1933, but he rejected their offer.[2] During the Great Depression, Berner created a toy-making business which later became a large success.[2] Businesses and younger workers sought advice from him in regards to toy-making throughout his career.[2]

Personal life and later life[edit]

Berner married Margaret, a woman of Scandinavian descent, in 1936, and had a daughter named Emily, who lived with her father.[2][3] In 1938, Berner and Margaret moved to Middle Village, where he lived when he died.[3] Berner was an active participant in the Juniper Park Civic Association for over 60 years.[2] Berner walked two miles daily on average, which he said, along with his willingness to help others, was the secret to his longevity.[2]

Berner died in New York City on January 7, 2013, a few weeks before his 111th birthday.


  1. ^ "Carl Berner, Queens supercentenarian and civic leader, dies at 110". Daily News. Retrieved January 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "The Amazing Mr. Berner...At 107 He Makes Yet Another Comeback". JuniperCivic. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Tantongco, Jano (March 19, 2010). "At 108, Still Pulsing With Vigor". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2012.