A centenarian is a person who has attained the age of 100 years or more. The term is associated with longevity due to the fact that average life expectancies across the world are still far from 100. Much rarer, a supercentenarian is a person who has lived to the age of 110 or more.

Reaching an old age has fascinated people for ages. According to the ancient book Genesis (chapter 5 verse 27) Methuselah managed to become 969 years old.

Some of the (nonapocryphal) claimants to longevity records are (see also: "Known for attaining high age below):

  • Jeanne Calment - oldest person ever whose age has been verified by modern documentation; born 1875, lived to the age of 122. This defines the human lifespan, which is set by the oldest documented individual who ever lived.
  • Shigechiyo Izumi (1865-1986) - oldest male ever recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records
  • Christian Mortensen (1882-1998) - oldest male widely accepted by scholars
  • Habib Miyan - unauthenticated claim to be 132; believed by Indian court to be at least 125 (in 2003), having retired in 1938. If true--and assuming no other similarly unproven claim to be even older is also true-- then each day he lives would extend the human lifespan by one day.

In the United States, centenarians traditionally receive a letter from the president upon reaching their 100th birthday, congratulating them for their longevity. In the United Kingdom, the Queen sends greetings (formerly as a telegram) on the 100th birthday and on every birthday starting with the 105th.

Among Hindus, people who touch the feet of elders are often blessed with "May you live a hundred years". In Poland, Sto lat, a wish to live a hundred years, is a traditional form of praise and good wishes; the Jewish tradition, however, is more ambitious, "May you live as long as Moses", or 120 years.

Table of contents
1 List of centenarians
2 External links

List of centenarians

Here is a list of well-known centenarians (with supercentenarians emphasized strongly). This list is divided into sub-lists, according to how the centenarian became well known.

Activists/non-profit leaders





Educators/school administrators


Jurists/practitioners of law

Military commanders

Musicians/Composers/music patrons



Politicians/government servants

Relative of someone well-known

Religious leaders/Clergymen





Known for attaining high age

See also the list in supercentenarian, Last Surviving Veteran

External links