10 Oldest Men in the World (Updated 2020)

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Although women tend to live longer than men in nearly every country around the world, several supercentenarians have been men. All of the men on this list 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. Nearly all of these men attributed their longevity to living a healthy lifestyle that included not drinking alcohol or smoking, and light daily exercise.

As of March 2020, this list is accurate and will be updated as needed.

10. Yisrael Kristal (September 15, 1903 – August 11, 2017)

Age upon Death: 113 years, 330 days
Country of Origin:  Born in Poland, but moved to Israel
Previous Occupation:  Businessman and confectioner

Yisrael Kristalphoto source: Wikimedia Commons

Yisrael Kristal was the oldest living man in the world prior to his death in 2017. 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. 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.

Did You Know?

In 2014, when he was 110, Yisrael Kristal was recognized as the oldest living Holocaust survivor, a record which he still holds today.


9. Fred Hale, Sr. (December 1, 1890 – November 19, 2004)

Age upon Death: 113 years, 354 days
Country of Origin:  United States
Previous Occupation:  Railroad postal worker and beekeeper

Fred Halephoto 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.

Did You Know?

Fred Hale, Sr. holds the Guinness World Record for oldest driver because he was still driving at the age of 108.


8. Gustav Gerneth (October 15, 1905 – October 22, 2019)

Age upon Death: 114 years, 7 days
Country of Origin:  Stettin, Prussia, German Empire (modern day Szczecin, Poland)
Previous Occupation:  Machinist, Sailor, and Soldier

Gustav Gernethphoto source: dw.com

Before he recently passed away in late 2019, Gustav Gerneth was one of the oldest living men in the world. Gerneth was able to celebrate his 114th birthday, but died a week later. He was the first German man to ever reach 112 years and beyond.

Gerneth was so old that he was born in Prussia when Poland was still part of the German Empire! Trained as a machinist, Gerneth was also a sailor. Gerneth fought for Germany during World War II and was captured and held by the Russians until 1947. Amazingly, Gerneth was strong enough to live on his own until he passed.

Did You Know?

Gustav Gerneth was the first man in the world to reach the age of 114 since 2011.


7. Joan Riudavets (December 15, 1889 – March 5, 2004)

Age upon Death: 114 years, 81 days
Country of Origin:  Spain
Occupation:  Shoemaker

Joan Riudavetsphoto 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 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.

Did You Know?

Joan 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.


6. Yukichi Chuganji (March 23, 1889 – September 28, 2003)

Age upon Death: 114 years, 189 days
Country of Origin:  Japan
Occupation:  Silkworm breeder, agricultural specialty instructor, bank employee, and community welfare officer

Yukichi Chuganjiphoto 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.

Did You Know?

Yukichi Chuganji was the first Japanese man to undoubtedly reach the age of 113 and 114.


5. Walter Breuning (September 21, 1896 – April 14, 2011)

Age upon Death: 114 years, 205 days
Country of Origin:  United States
Occupation:  Retired railroader

Walter Breuningphoto 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’s 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 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.

Did You Know?

Walter Breuning was a lifelong cigar smoker, but quit when in 1999 when he was 103 because the cigars had become too expensive.


4. Mathew Beard (July 9, 1870 – February 16, 1985)

Age upon Death: 114 years, 222 days
Country of Origin:  United States
Occupation:  Sawmill worker, railroad worker, mason, and preacher

Mathew Beardphoto source: gerontology.wikia.com

Despite being the oldest verified American male and oldest known African American, there really isn’t too much information out there about Mathew Beard. However, there are a few old newspaper clippings detailing some of Beard’s life. Beard was born in 1870 and died in 1985 at the age of 114.

Beard was born in Virginia, but left at a young age and moved around the United States – he spent his later years in Florida. Over his long life, Beard had various jobs, including being a sawmill worker, working on the railroads, masonry, and a preacher when he was older. Beard is also a veteran of the Spanish-American War. In 1919, Beard met his wife and settled down in Florida. Beard and his wife had 12 children and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Did You Know?

Mathew Beard claimed that he built his house when he was 103 with some help from his grandsons.


3. Emiliano Mercado del Toro (August 21, 1891 – January 24, 2007)

Age upon Death: 115 years, 156 days
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 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.

Did You Know?

Emiliana Mercado del Toro worked in sugar cane fields until he was 81 years old.


2. Christian Mortensen (August 16, 1882 – April 25, 1998)

Age upon Death: 115 years, 252 days
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”.

Did You Know?

Christian Mortensen was a vegetarian and drank boiled water.


1. Jiroemon Kimura (April 19, 1897 – June 12, 2013)

Age upon Death: 116 years, 54 days
Country of Origin:  Japan
Occupation:  Retired postal worker and farmer

Jiroemon Kimura photo source: Wikipedia

Jiroemon Kimura is the oldest verified man ever in the world and passed away in 2013 at the age of 116 years. 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.

Did You Know?

Jiroemon Kimura and Walter Breuning were the only verified men who were born in the 1800s that lived until the 2010s.


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