10 Oldest Men in the World

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Although women tend to live longer than men in nearly every country around the world, several supercentenarians have been men. In fact, this list highlights the ten oldest men to ever live whose ages and life stories are verified. All of them lived to be at least 113 years old and mostly come from Japan and the United States. Several of them held the Guinness World Record at some point for being the oldest living man in the world as well as the oldest living person. With the exception of the last person on this list, all of these men attributed their longevity to living a healthy lifestyle that included not drinking alcohol or smoking, and light daily exercise.

10. John Ingram McMorran

Age upon Death: 113 years, 250 days
Date of Birth/Death: June 19, 1889 – February 24, 2003
Country of Origin:  United States
Occupation:  Farmer and truck driver

John Ingram McMorran photo source: gerontology.wikia.com

Despite his unhealthy lifestyle, John Ingram McMorran, was an supercentenarian from the United States. He spent most of his life drinking, smoking, and eating greasy food, which are untypical habits for nearly all supercentenarians. McMorran’s siblings all lived long lives as well: his sisters lived to be 96 and 103 and his brother died at age 84.

In an article detailing his life, McMorran said that a palm reader told him that he would live to be 111 years old. At the time, he nodded politely, but did not believe a word of the fortune. At the time of his 111th birthday, Johnny Adams of the Gerontology Research Group in Los Angeles believed that McMarron was the oldest living man in the world whose age could be documented based on his birth certificate.


9. Tomoji Tanabe

Age upon Death: 113 years, 274 days
Date of Birth/Death: September 18, 1895 – June 19, 2009
Country of Origin:  Japan
Occupation:  Former civil engineer/surveyor and farmer

Tomoji Tanabe photo source: The Telegraph

Tomoji Tanabe was another Japanese supercentenarian and for two and half years he held the title of world’s oldest living man. He was also the oldest living man in Japan before Jiroemon Kimura broke his record. Tanabe died in his sleep of heart failure in his home town. He often said that the secret to his  long life was never smoking or drinking. Tanabe was extremely healthy for most of his life, but after his last birthday, his health quickly deteriorated. He became bed-ridden and was not able to eat, due to a chronic heart condition.

Tanabe worked as a city land surveyor and then as a farmer for 30 years. His wife, Suki, also lived quite long and died at the age of 92. They had eight children, 25 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren. Tanabe was certified as the world’s oldest living man by Guinness World Records in 2007 at the age of 111 years.


8. Yisrael Kristal

Age upon Death: 113 years, 330 days
Date of Birth/Death: September 15, 1903 – August 11, 2017
Country of Origin:  Born in Poland, but moved to Israel
Occupation:  Businessman and confectioner

Yisrael Kristal photo source: Wikimedia Commons

Yisrael Kristal was most recently the oldest living man in the world prior to his death in 2017. He was also the oldest living Holocaust survivor. Kristal was born to a Jewish family in Poland, when it was still a part of the Russian Empire. He was 11 years old when World War I broke out and his father was drafted into the Imperial Russian Army and died not long after.

As a young man, Kristal initially worked as a physical laborer, but later became an expert candy-maker. He married Chaja Feige Frucht and had two children with her. After the Germans took over Poland in 1940 during World War II, Kristal kept manufacturing candy, sometimes secretly and at other times with permission from the heads of the Jewish ghetto he lived in. Unfortunately, in 1944 Kristal and his wife were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp and his wife did not survive. Kristal managed to survive and eventually rebuilt his candy shop, remarried, and emigrated to Israel with his family in 1950.


7. Fred Hale, Sr.

Age upon Death: 113 years, 354 days
Date of Birth/Death: December 1, 1890 – November 19, 2004
Country of Origin:  United States
Occupation:  Railroad postal worker and beekeeper

Fred Hale Sr. photo source: syracuse.com

Fred Hale, Sr. was often in the news not only for being the oldest living man in the United States and the world before his death, but for also being the world’s oldest Boston Red Sox fan. Hale died in 2004, just 12 days shy of his 114th birthday. A month before he died, he received an early birthday present when the Red Sox finally won the World Series again after 86 years.

Hale was a railroad postal worker and beekeeper and retired about 50 years before his death. He stayed active even after he retired and enjoyed gardening, canning fruits and vegetables, and making homemade applesauce. After his wife of 69 years, Flora, died in 1979 Hale lived independently until he was 103 years old. In March 2004, he was recognized as the world’s oldest living man by Guinness World Records after Joan Riudavets Moll, of Spain, passed away at age 114. He also was the Guinness-record holder for the oldest driver because he was still driving at the age of 108 years.


6. Joan Riudavets

Age upon Death: 114 years, 81 days
Date of Birth/Death: December 15, 1889 – March 5, 2004
Country of Origin:  Spain
Occupation:  Shoemaker

Joan Riudavets photo source: gerontology.wikia.com

Joan Riudavets was the oldest verified person to ever live in Spain, dying at the age of 114 years. A few months before his death, Riudavets was recognized as the oldest living man in the world after Yukichi Chuganji died at the end of 2003. Riudavets’ half-brothers also lived long lives: Josep died at 102 years old in 2009 and Pere was 105 years old when he died in 2006.

Riudavets said that the secret to his long life was to “Keep moving, keep going forward.” He practiced this advice even after he turned 100 and often rode his bicycle, took walks, and socialized with his friends. Riudavets also played guitar and football, and slept for at least 12 hours every night. He was proud of the fact that he was still able to do physical activities right until his death.


5. Yukichi Chuganji

Age upon Death: 114 years, 189 days
Date of Birth/Death: March 23, 1889 – September 28, 2003
Country of Origin:  Japan
Occupation:  Silkworm breeder, agricultural specialty instructor, bank employee, and community welfare officer

Yukichi Chuganji photo source: gerontology.wikia.com

Yukichi Chuganji died as the oldest Asian man ever with verification. About 20 months before his death, Chuganji was notified by Guinness World Records that he had become the oldest man in the world after the death of Antonio Todde of Sardinia, Italy. After he received this news, Chuganji said that he never expected to live that long, but that he was glad to be the worlds number one.

Chuganji attributed his longevity to never drinking alcohol, preferring a daily glass of milk, hard toffee, and occasionally drinking apple juice. Chuganji had a few different jobs over his lifetime, including working as a silkworm breeder, a bank employee, and a community welfare officer. He got married in 1914 and had four sons and a daughter, seven grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren.


4. Walter Breuning

Age upon Death: 114 years, 205 days
Date of Birth/Death: September 21, 1896 – April 14, 2011
Country of Origin:  United States
Occupation:  Retired railroader

Walter Breuning photo source: Wikimedia Commons

For nearly two years, Walter Breuning was recognized as the oldest living man in the world until his death in 2011 at the age of 114 years. Breuning was born and raised in the United States and comes from a family whose members often live long lives. His paternal and maternal grandparents lived into their 90s and his siblings lived to ages 78, 85, 91, and 100. Breuning surviving family members include one niece and three nephews who are all in their 80s.

In 1913, Breuning started working for the Great Northern Railway and continued to work for the company for more than 50 years. After retiring from the railway at the age of 66, Breuning became the manager/secretary for his local Shriner’s Club until he was 99 years old. Even in his later years, Breuning had a sharp mind and memory. For example, he he could remember his grandfather talking about his experiences in the American Civil War when he was three years old, and remembered the day President William McKinley was shot as the day he got his first haircut.


3. Emiliano Mercado del Toro

Age upon Death: 115 years, 156 days
Date of Birth/Death: August 21, 1891 – January 24, 2007
Country of Origin:  Puerto Rico
Occupation:  Sugar cane farmer

Emiliano Mercado del Toro
photo source: Wikipedia

At the time of his death, Emiliano Mercado del Toro was the second oldest fully validated man ever at the age of 115 years and 156 days. For a few weeks before he died, del Toro was the oldest living person in the world. Del Toro was born in Puerto Rico and worked in the sugar cane fields until he was 81 years old. The only time he left his country was to very briefly serve in the United State Army during World War I, right before the 1918 armistice was signed.

Del Toro never married or had children, but said that he had two love interests in his life. A few years before he died, del Toro’s family was trying to get the United States to recognize him as the oldest living veteran. The Disabled Veterans of America chapter in Isabela, Puerto Rico also joined in his family’s quest to get del Toro recognized.


2. Christian Mortensen

Age upon Death: 115 years, 252 days
Date of Birth/Death: August 16, 1882 – April 25, 1998
Country of Origin:  Denmark, but lived in the United States
Occupation:  Tailor, farmhand, milkman, restaurateur, and factory worker

Christian Mortensen photo source: Wikipedia

Before his record was broken in 2012, Christian Mortensen was the oldest verified man in world for 14 years. In 1997, Mortensen became the first man confirmed to ever reach the age of 115 years. Mortensen was born in Denmark and he emigrated to the United States in 1903 when he was about 21 years old. When he was a young man, Mortensen was married for less than ten years and in his old age, he could not even remember what her name was. He never had any kids and Mortensen remained single for the rest of his life.

Over his long life, Mortensen moved around the United States (he lived in 26 different states) and had various jobs, including being a tailor, milkman, factory worker, and restaurateur. When he was 96 years old, Mortensen moved into the Aldersly Retirement Community in San Rafael, California and remained there until his death. Just before he died, Mortensen gave his advice for a long life: “Friends, a good cigar, drinking lots of good water, no alcohol, staying positive and lots of singing will keep you alive for a long time”.


1. Jiroemon Kimura

Age upon Death: 116 years, 54 days
Date of Birth/Death: April 19, 1897 – June 12, 2013
Country of Origin:  Japan
Occupation:  Retired postal worker and farmer

Jiroemon Kimura photo source: Wikipedia

Jiroemon Kimura is the oldest verified man in the world. He passed away in 2013 at the age of 116 years and still holds the record today. Kimura is also the only man who has undoubtedly reached 116 years of age and prior to his death, he was the last known living man born in the the 19th century. When he was younger, Kimura worked as a government communications worker in Korea under Japanese rule. Upon his return to Japan, he got married and became a postal worker for 45 years.

Kimura was not the only member of his family to live a very long life. Four of his siblings lived past the age of 90, and his youngest brother died at the age of 100. The Guinness Book of World Records featured Kimura, as the oldest living man in the world, in the 2012 and 2013 editions of the book.

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