Carl Berner (supercentenarian)

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This article is about the supercentenarian. For the 19th century Norwegian politician of the same name, see Carl Berner.
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, New York, United States
Cause of death Natural causes
Residence New York, New York, United States
Nationality German, American
Occupation Civic activist and toymaker
Known for Being a supercentenarian
Spouse(s) Margaret Berner (February 1915-June 1987)
m.1936–1987 (her death)
Children Emily Berner (born September 23, 1943)

Carl James Berner (January 27, 1902 – January 7, 2013[1]) was a German-born American supercentenarian,[2] civic activist, and former toymaker.[3] Before his death he was considered the second-oldest living American man whose age had been verified behind James McCoubrey. In fact, he was the third-oldest because Salustiano Sanchez was certified afterwards.[2][4] He had also been the oldest living man in New York City for at least the last two years of his life.[5]

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.[3] After his parents died from tuberculosis, his maternal grandmother moved him to France.[3] In 1912, his paternal grandmother moved him back to Germany.[3] In school, Carl studied mechanical manufacturing, among other things.[3] In 1928, he left Germany and moved to the United States.[3] His first job in the United States was as the Night Building Superintendent at the Chrysler Building.[3] He was offered by the U.S. government to become a foreign agent in 1933, but he rejected their offer.[3] During the Great Depression, Berner created a toy-making business which later became a large success.[3] Businesses and younger workers sought advice from him in regards to toy-making throughout his career.[3]

Personal life and later life[edit]

Berner married Margaret (February 22, 1915-June 1987),[6] a woman of Scandinavian descent, in 1936, and had a daughter named Emily (born September 23, 1943), who lived with her father.[3][5] In 1938, Berner and Margaret moved to Middle Village, where he lived when he died.[5] Berner was an active participant in the Juniper Park Civic Association for over 60 years.[3] Berner walked two miles daily on average, which he said, along with his willingness to help others, was the secret to his longevity.[3]


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 "Table E, as of June 11, 2003". Gerentology Research Group. June 11, 2003. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ "Table B - Verified Supercentenarians". Gerontology Research Group. Retrieved 2012-09-23. 
  5. ^ a b c Tantongco, Jano (March 19, 2010). "At 108, Still Pulsing With Vigor -". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2012. 
  6. ^ ""United States Social Security Death Index," Margaret Berner, 1987". Familysearch. Retrieved September 7, 2012.