Mathew Beard

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For other people with similar names, see Matthew Beard.

Mathew Beard (July 9, 1870 – February 16, 1985)[1][2] was an American supercentenarian who has been verified as the world's oldest living person between 1983 and 1985, and the oldest living man between 1980 and 1985. In August 2013 the Gerontology Research Group included him as a verified case.[1]


Beard claimed to have been born in Norfolk, Virginia in 1870. He claimed to have moved to Missouri in 1873 and was allegedly working at a sawmill at age 12 in 1882. In 1887 he temporarily moved to Florida to work on railroads. He later moved there in 1907. He was working as a mason in 1913. He met his wife in 1919 and had twelve children. By 1977 he claimed to have outlived his wife and four of his 12 children. Beard claimed to have built his house at age 103 with the help of a grandson.[3]

A preacher and veteran of the Spanish-American War, Beard was known to praise the Ku Klux Klan jokingly, being a Freemason, .[4]

At the time of his death at the age of 114 years, 222 days,[1] Beard was the oldest verified person ever and the first person verified to have reached 114 years of age, although Shigechiyo Izumi was still alive and then thought to have been older.

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