List of American supercentenarians

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American supercentenarians are citizens or residents of the United States who have attained or surpassed 110 years of age. As of January 2015, the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) had validated the longevity claims of 782 American supercentenarians.[1] As of 3 July 2022, it lists the oldest living American-born person as Spanish emigrant María Brañas Morera (born in San Francisco, California on March 4, 1907), aged 115 years, 121 days. The oldest American resident is listed as Bessie Hendricks (born in Carroll County, Iowa on November 7, 1907), aged 114 years, 238 days.[2] The longest-lived person ever from the United States is Sarah Knauss, of Hollywood, Pennsylvania, who died on December 30, 1999, aged 119 years and 97 days.[3][4]

100 oldest known Americans[edit]

Below is a list of the 100 longest lived American supercentenarians according to the GRG and reliable sourcing.[1][5]

  Deceased   Living

Rank Name Sex Birth date Death date Age Birthplace Place of death
or residence
01 Sarah Knauss[1] F September 24, 1880 December 30, 1999 119 years, 97 days Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
02 Susannah Mushatt Jones[5] F July 6, 1899 May 12, 2016 116 years, 311 days Alabama New York
03 Gertrude Weaver[5] F July 4, 1898 April 6, 2015 116 years, 276 days Arkansas Arkansas
04 Elizabeth Bolden[1] F August 15, 1890 December 11, 2006 116 years, 118 days Tennessee Tennessee
05 Besse Cooper[5] F August 26, 1896 December 4, 2012 116 years, 100 days Tennessee Georgia
06 Jeralean Talley[5] F May 23, 1899 June 17, 2015 116 years, 25 days Georgia Michigan
07 Maggie Barnes[1][a] F March 6, 1882 January 19, 1998 115 years, 319 days North Carolina North Carolina
08 Dina Manfredini[5] F April 4, 1897 December 17, 2012 115 years, 257 days Italy Iowa
09 Christian Mortensen[1] M August 16, 1882 April 25, 1998 115 years, 252 days Denmark California
10 Hester Ford[5] F August 15, 1905 April 17, 2021[6] 115 years, 245 days South Carolina North Carolina
11 Edna Parker[5] F April 20, 1893 November 26, 2008 115 years, 220 days Indiana Indiana
12 Margaret Skeete[1] F October 27, 1878 May 7, 1994 115 years, 192 days Texas Virginia
13 Bernice Madigan[5] F July 24, 1899 January 3, 2015 115 years, 163 days Massachusetts Massachusetts
14 Gertrude Baines[5] F April 6, 1894 September 11, 2009 115 years, 158 days Georgia California
15 Bettie Wilson[1] F September 13, 1890 February 13, 2006 115 years, 153 days Mississippi Mississippi
16 Iris Westman[5] F August 28, 1905 January 3, 2021[7] 115 years, 128 days North Dakota North Dakota
17 María Brañas Morera[2] F March 4, 1907 Living 115 years, 121 days California Spain
18 Marie Josephine Gaudette,
aka Mother Cecilia[5]
F March 25, 1902 July 13, 2017 115 years, 110 days New Hampshire Italy
19 Susie Gibson[1] F October 31, 1890 February 16, 2006 115 years, 108 days Mississippi Alabama
Thelma Sutcliffe[5] F October 1, 1906 January 17, 2022[8] Nebraska Nebraska
21 Augusta Holtz[1] F August 3, 1871 October 21, 1986 115 years, 79 days Prussia[b] Missouri
22 Maude Farris-Luse[1] F January 21, 1887 March 18, 2002 115 years, 56 days Michigan Michigan
23 Antonia Gerena Rivera[5] F May 19, 1900 June 2, 2015 115 years, 14 days Puerto Rico[c] Florida
24 Mary Bidwell[1] F May 19, 1881 April 25, 1996 114 years, 342 days Connecticut Connecticut
25 Mary Josephine Ray[5] F May 17, 1895 March 7, 2010 114 years, 294 days Canada New Hampshire
26 Goldie Steinberg[5] F October 30, 1900 August 16, 2015 114 years, 290 days Moldova[d] New York
27 Delphine Gibson[5] F August 17, 1903 May 9, 2018 114 years, 265 days South Carolina Pennsylvania
28 Neva Morris[5] F August 3, 1895 April 6, 2010 114 years, 246 days Iowa Iowa
29 Bessie Hendricks[2] F November 7, 1907 Living 114 years, 238 days Iowa Iowa
30 Blanche Cobb[5] F September 8, 1900 May 1, 2015 114 years, 235 days Georgia Florida
31 Mila Mangold[2] F November 14, 1907 Living 114 years, 231 days Nebraska California
32 Mathew Beard[1] M July 9, 1870 February 16, 1985 114 years, 222 days Virginia Florida
33 Carrie Lazenby[1] F February 9, 1882 September 14, 1996 114 years, 218 days Georgia Illinois
34 Myrtle Dorsey[1] F November 22, 1885 June 25, 2000 114 years, 216 days Ohio Ohio
35 Walter Breuning[5] M September 21, 1896 April 14, 2011 114 years, 205 days Minnesota Montana
36 Eunice Sanborn[5] F July 20, 1896 January 31, 2011 114 years, 195 days Louisiana Texas
37 Grace Clawson[1] F November 15, 1887 May 28, 2002 114 years, 194 days United Kingdom New York
38 Wilhelmina Kott[1] F March 7, 1880 September 6, 1994 114 years, 183 days Illinois Illinois
Adelina Domingues[1] F February 19, 1888 August 21, 2002 Cape Verde[e] California
40 Lucy Mirigian[5] F August 15, 1906 February 12, 2021 114 years, 181 days Armenia[f] California
41 Charlotte Benkner[1] F November 16, 1889 May 14, 2004 114 years, 180 days Germany Ohio
42 Ettie Mae Greene[1] F September 8, 1877 February 26, 1992 114 years, 171 days West Virginia West Virginia
43 Dominga Velasco[5] F May 12, 1901 October 11, 2015 114 years, 152 days Mexico California
44 Irene Frank[1] F October 1, 1881 February 28, 1996 114 years, 150 days Texas Missouri
45 Edie Ceccarelli[2] F February 5, 1908 Living 114 years, 148 days California California
46 Olivia Patricia Thomas[5] F June 29, 1895 November 16, 2009 114 years, 140 days Iowa New York
Alelia Murphy[5] F July 6, 1905 November 23, 2019 North Carolina New York
48 Irene Dunham[5] F December 16, 1907 May 1, 2022[10] 114 years, 136 days Michigan Michigan
49 Anna Henderson[5] F March 5, 1900 July 1, 2014 114 years, 118 days Georgia Pennsylvania
50 Emma Verona Johnston[1] F August 6, 1890 December 1, 2004 114 years, 117 days Iowa Ohio
Mamie Rearden[1] F September 7, 1898 January 2, 2013 South Carolina Georgia
52 Bettie Chatmon[1] F April 30, 1884 August 16, 1998 114 years, 108 days Louisiana Texas
Lessie Brown[5] F September 22, 1904 January 8, 2019 Georgia Ohio
54 Odie Matthews[1] F December 28, 1878 April 14, 1993 114 years, 107 days Texas Arizona
55 Florence Knapp[1] F October 10, 1873 January 11, 1988 114 years, 93 days Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
Elena Slough[1] F July 4, 1889 October 5, 2003 Pennsylvania New Jersey
57 Mary Anna Boone[1] F February 10, 1887 May 13, 2001 114 years, 92 days Kentucky Kentucky
58 Minnie Whicker[5] F July 24, 1906 October 22, 2020 114 years, 90 days Arkansas California
59 Delma Kollar[5] F October 31, 1897 January 24, 2012 114 years, 85 days Kansas Oregon
60 Ila Jones[5] F August 21, 1903 November 10, 2017 114 years, 81 days Georgia Georgia
61 Erna Zahn[2] F April 14, 1908 Living 114 years, 80 days Wisconsin Minnesota
62 Maggie Renfro[5] F November 14, 1895 January 22, 2010 114 years, 69 days Louisiana Louisiana
63 Emma Tillman[1] F November 22, 1892 January 28, 2007 114 years, 67 days North Carolina Connecticut
Anna Stoehr[5] F October 15, 1900 December 21, 2014 Iowa Minnesota
65 Leila Denmark[5] F February 1, 1898 April 1, 2012 114 years, 60 days Georgia Georgia
66 Adele Dunlap[1] F December 12, 1902 February 5, 2017[11] 114 years, 55 days New Jersey New Jersey
67 Naomi Conner[1] F August 30, 1899 October 18, 2013 114 years, 49 days Texas Texas
Ora Holland[5] F December 24, 1900 February 11, 2015 Missouri Oklahoma
69 Ellen Goodwill[5] F February 2, 1907 March 2, 2021[12] 114 years, 28 days Kentucky Michigan
70 Grace Thaxton[1] F June 18, 1891 July 6, 2005 114 years, 18 days New York Kentucky
71 Soledad Mexia[1] F August 13, 1899 August 30, 2013 114 years, 17 days Mexico California
72 Hazel Plummer[2] F June 19, 1908 Living 114 years, 14 days Massachusetts Massachusetts
73 Minnie Ward[1] F November 19, 1885 December 2, 1999 114 years, 13 days Tennessee Massachusetts
74 Arbella Ewing[5] F March 13, 1894 March 22, 2008 114 years, 9 days Texas Texas
75 Catherine Hagel[5] F November 28, 1894 December 6, 2008 114 years, 8 days Minnesota Minnesota
76 Emma Otis[5] F October 22, 1901 October 25, 2015 114 years, 3 days Washington Washington
77 Fred Hale[1] M December 1, 1890 November 19, 2004 113 years, 354 days Maine New York
78 Miriam Carpelan[1] F July 8, 1882 June 22, 1996 113 years, 350 days United Kingdom California
Elsie Thompson[1] F April 5, 1899 March 21, 2013 Pennsylvania Florida
80 Bertha Fry[1] F December 1, 1893 November 14, 2007 113 years, 348 days Indiana Indiana
81 Mae Harrington[1] F January 20, 1889 December 29, 2002 113 years, 343 days New York New York
82 Daisey Bailey[5] F March 30, 1896 March 7, 2010 113 years, 342 days Tennessee Michigan
83 Agatha Mitchell[1] F March 26, 1887 February 25, 2001 113 years, 336 days Virginia Virginia
84 Goldie Michelson[5] F August 8, 1902 July 8, 2016 113 years, 335 days Ukraine[g] Massachusetts
85 Merle Barwis[5] F December 23, 1900 November 22, 2014 113 years, 334 days Iowa Canada
86 Clara Huhn[1] F January 28, 1887 December 20, 2000 113 years, 327 days Nebraska California
Beulah Meloche[5] F December 5, 1906 October 27, 2020 New York New York
88 Corinne Dixon Taylor[1] F April 2, 1893 February 14, 2007 113 years, 318 days District of Columbia District of Columbia
89 Mary Christian[1] F June 12, 1889 April 20, 2003 113 years, 312 days Massachusetts California
90 Florence Carroll[5] F June 9, 1907 April 15, 2021 113 years, 310 days New York Connecticut
91 Ruth Newman[5] F September 23, 1901 July 29, 2015 113 years, 309 days California California
92 Irene Dutton[5] F July 16, 1906 May 15, 2020 113 years, 304 days Michigan Michigan
93 Evelyn Kozak[1] F August 14, 1899 June 11, 2013 113 years, 301 days New York New York
94 Louisiana Hines[1] F April 13, 1899 February 1, 2013 113 years, 294 days Alabama Michigan
95 Mississippi Wynn[5] F March 31, 1897 January 14, 2011 113 years, 289 days Louisiana Louisiana
96 Fannie Thomas[1] F April 14, 1867 January 22, 1981 113 years, 283 days Illinois California
97 Opal Thompson[5] F January 13, 1901 October 20, 2014 113 years, 280 days Oklahoma California
98 Johnson Parks[1] M October 15, 1884 July 17, 1998 113 years, 275 days Georgia Florida
99 Mary Parr[1] F January 29, 1889 October 29, 2002 113 years, 273 days Indiana Florida
100 Beatrice Farve[5] F April 30, 1895 January 19, 2009 113 years, 264 days Georgia Georgia

Biographies[edit]

Ann Pouder[edit]

Ann Pouder on her 110th birthday; photograph from June 1919 National Geographic magazine

Ann Pouder (née Ann Marie Alexander; April 8, 1807 – July 10, 1917) was one of the first modernly recognized supercentenarians, living to an age of 110 years, 93 days.[13] Born in London, she emigrated with her family to the United States at the age of 12, settling in Baltimore, Maryland, where she lived for 98 more years, the remainder of her life. She married Nepalese American Alexander Pouder,[citation needed], though she became a widow very early and had no children. Her extreme longevity claim was certified by Alexander Graham Bell.[14] She was bedridden, blind and almost deaf in her last few months, but her mind remained sharp.[15]

Mary Bidwell[edit]

Mary Electa Bidwell (May 19, 1881 – April 25, 1996)[16] was an American supercentenarian. She died aged 114 years and 342 days and is the oldest person on record ever to die in Connecticut.[17][18][19]

Her parents were Charles Woodruff Bidwell and Alice Beach Nobel.[18] She was a descendant of John Bidwell, one of the founders of Hartford, Connecticut. Bidwell worked as a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse for six years. She married Charles Hubbell Bidwell, a distant cousin, in 1906.[17] Bidwell lived on her own in North Haven, Connecticut, until she was 110. Bidwell died at the Arden House, a nursing home in Hamden, Connecticut.[16][19]

Maggie Barnes[edit]

Maggie Pauline Barnes (née Hinnant; March 6, 1882 – January 19, 1998)[20] was an American supercentenarian. She was born to a former slave and married a tenant farmer. Barnes died on January 19, 1998, in Johnston County, North Carolina, of gangrene.[21] She was survived by four of her fifteen children.[21]

Her exact year of birth has been disputed. Though the year 1882 is written in her family bible, the 1900 US Census records her birth year as 1881 and her marriage license claims that she was born in 1880.[21] Authenticating to what was put on the family Bible, Barnes lived for 115 years and 319 days.

Adelina Domingues[edit]

Adelina Domingues (February 19, 1888 – August 21, 2002) was a Cape Verdean American supercentenarian who was the world's oldest person from the May 28, 2002 death of fellow 114-year-old British born, American woman Grace Clawson, until her own death less than three months later.[22] Domingues was born in Cape Verde. Domingues's Italian father was a harbor pilot by profession, and her mother was Portuguese by ethnicity.[23] She married a ship captain in 1907, and moved to the United States that year.[23] Her husband died from cancer in 1950.[23] Domingues was a missionary from the Church of the Nazarene in Cape Verde and other parts of Africa, and also a religious preacher when she lived in Massachusetts, as well as an expert seamstress.[23]

Domingues was a firm believer in the American Dream, was deeply religious, had conservative political views and was a pen pal of former President of the United States Ronald Reagan.[23] She had four children, but only one of them (a son, Frank) reached adulthood.[23] Frank died in 1998 at the age of 71, with Adelina outliving him by four years.[23] Domingues died at a nursing home in the San Diego, California, area on August 21, 2002, at age 114 years and 183 days.[23] She had claimed she was actually one year older, or 115 years old, but her family and Cape Verdean diplomats did some research and discovered her baptismal information, from which they concluded that Domingues was "only" 114 years old when she died.[24]

Charlotte Benkner[edit]

Charlotte Benkner (née Enterlein; November 16, 1889 – May 14, 2004)[25][26][27][28] was an American supercentenarian and considered the world's oldest person from 2003 to 2004.[29][25][26] Subsequent recognition of other supercentenarians ranked Benkner as the third oldest at the time of her death.[27]

Benkner was born in Leipzig, Germany, and emigrated to the U.S. in 1896. She grew up in Peekskill, New York, where her family ran the Albert Hotel, and as a young woman once met then U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.[28][30] After her 1908 marriage to Karl Benkner, she moved west, living in Pennsylvania and Ohio, before retiring to Arizona. Already a supercentenarian and the oldest person in Arizona, Benkner returned to Ohio to live in North Lima with her sister Tillie O'Hare, her youngest sibling.[28] Tillie died in January 2004, just three weeks shy of becoming a centenarian.[30] Benkner survived her sister by only four months, and died at age 114 years and 180 days, after a brief hospital stay in Youngstown, Ohio.

Emma Verona Johnston[edit]

Emma Verona Johnston (née Calhoun; August 6, 1890 – December 1, 2004) was an American supercentenarian who was born in Indianola, Iowa to a large family.[31] She graduated from Drake University in the Class of 1912 and went on to work as a Latin teacher before she married ophthalmologist Harry Johnston;[32][33][34] at the time of her death, she was the university's oldest living graduate.[32]

At age 98, Johnston moved from Iowa to Ohio in order to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Even after turning 110, she continued to be in good health, alert and engaging in conversations, and was still able to walk up steps.[32] She became the oldest known living American in May 2004.[31] Three months later, on the occasion of her 114th birthday, she was presented with a proclamation signed by then Drake University President David Maxwell.[35] The university's Vice President for Institutional Advancement, John Willey, nominated her for an honorary degree.[34] Johnston died in Worthington, Ohio on December 1, 2004,[31] at age 114 years and 117 days.

Bettie Wilson[edit]

Bettie Antry Wilson (née Rutherford; September 13, 1890 – February 13, 2006)[36] was the oldest resident of Mississippi ever recorded, and was considered the oldest living person in the United States from December 2004 until the subsequent verification of Elizabeth Bolden.[citation needed] Both were born in the rural South, where they lived less than 100 miles apart. Wilson was the daughter of freed slaves, Solomon and Delia Rutherford.[37]

In April 2005, Wilson moved into a new home funded by donations, in New Albany. She celebrated her 115th birthday in September 2005, and died on February 13, 2006, aged 115 years, 153 days. She was survived by her son, five grandchildren, 46 great-grandchildren, 95 great-great-grandchildren and 38 great-great-great-grandchildren.[36]

George Francis[edit]

George Rene Francis (June 6, 1896 – December 27, 2008)[38][39][40] was an American supercentenarian and the joint second-oldest living man in the world, together with Englishman Henry Allingham, also born on June 6, 1896, until Francis's death aged 112 years and 204 days. He was also the oldest living man in the United States, following the death of then 111-year-old Antonio Pierro on February 8, 2007. Francis was from New Orleans, Louisiana, but after 1949 lived in Sacramento, California, where a local newspaper published a poem that Francis enjoyed reciting to friends and the public throughout his life.[41] He credited his longevity to nature, and enjoyed a rich diet of pork, eggs, milk and lard. He gave up smoking cigars at the age of 75.[42]

Francis attempted to join the army in World War I, but was rejected for service in 1918 as being too short and small (he weighed only about 100 pounds [45 kg]). Despite this, he later was a boxer before becoming a barber and then a chauffeur.[38]

Bernice Madigan[edit]

Bernice Madigan (née Emerson; July 24, 1899 – January 3, 2015) was born in West Springfield, Massachusetts,[5][43][44] and moved to Cheshire when she was six.[45] In 1918, after graduating from Adams High School,[45][46] she responded to government drives to recruit women into employment during WWI, and moved to Washington, DC.[43] After the war, she worked as a secretary for the Department of the Treasury and the Veterans Administration.[47] She married Paul Madigan (d. 1976) in 1925;[47] they lived in the Washington, DC area and then in Silver Spring, Maryland.[45] She retired in 1942, after which she volunteered with the church and at nursing homes, playing piano for residents.[45] She returned to live with family in Massachusetts in 2007.[47] She participated in Boston University School of Medicine's New England Centenarian Study,[48] and was interviewed and filmed by the Center for Aging at the University of Chicago and the ABC World News.[48] She is one of 100 centenarians in The Archon Genomics XPRIZE.[49][50] She joined social media, with profiles on Facebook and Twitter.[47][51][52] Madigan died in her sleep at the age of 115 years and 163 days at 2 a.m. on January 3, 2015.[44][52] At the time of her death, she was the oldest living resident of Massachusetts,[53] the fourth-oldest living person in the United States[54] and the world's fifth-oldest living person.[54][55]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ May have been older (116 or even 117); possibly born in 1881 or even 1880
  2. ^ Holtz was born in the Province of Posen, which was a part of the German Empire at the time of her birth. Today, this area is a part of Poland.
  3. ^ Residents of Puerto Rico born on or after 25 April 1898 are United States citizens.[9]
  4. ^ Steinberg was born in Kishinev, which had then been a part of the Russian Empire. It is now the capital of Moldova.
  5. ^ Domingues was born in Cape Verde, which was at that time a Portuguese colony. Now it is an independent country.
  6. ^ Mirigian was born in Armenia, then part of the Ottoman Empire.
  7. ^ Michelson was born in Elizabethgrad, which was then a part of the Russian Empire. It is now part of Ukraine.

References[edit]

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