Women Supercentenarian Photos File No. 1 of 15

Click for what's known about Superentenarians at The New England Centenarian Study at Boston University under the direction of Prof.. Thomas Perls, M.D., Principal Investigator. Click for more details.

We wish to recommend some excellent recent references on the topic of Centenarians:

2002 Guinness Book of Records
1. 2002 Guinness Book of Records. Click the book cover for the relevant section.

November 11, 2003; First published in 1955 and sold in more than 100 countries in different 23 languages, Guinness has now sold more than 100 million copies of its book. Only a handful of other books, like the Bible and the Koran, can make that claim. The 2004 Edition was released on August 28th of this year.

2. Cynthia G. Wagner, "The Centenarians are Coming!!" The Futurist, Vol. 33, No. 5, pp.16-23 (May 1999).

3. Another article of interest in The Futurist is
Michael P. Brickey, "The Extended Life: Four Strategies for Healthy Longevity," The Futurist, pp. 52-56 (September/October 2001).

4. See also, George E. Vaillant, Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Harvard Study of Adult Development (384 pages; ISBN: 0316989363; Little Brown & Company, New York; January 2002)


5. "Health for Life: Living Longer, Living Better" Newsweek (Special Edition; Fall/Winter 2001).

6. Michael P. Brickey, Defy Aging: Develop the Mental and Emotional Vitality to Live Longer, Healthier, and Happier Than You Ever Imagined (395 pages; ISBN: 0970155506; New Resources Press; 2000).

7. Donald B. Louria, "Second Thoughts on Extending Life-Spans: Researchers Are Making Great Strides in Extending the Boundaries of Human Aging, But the World May Not Be Ready for an End-of-Life Population Explosion," The Futurist,, Vol. 36, No. 1, pp. 44-48 (January-February 2002). Dr. Louria, physician and Chairman Emeritus of the Department of Preventive Medicine and Community Health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark, healthfullife.umdnh.edu fancies himself the self-appointed nay-sayer of longevity evangelism. His anxiety-provoking diatribe about the alleged risks to the status quo and our civilization of unlimited longevity in our lifetimes is a panopoly of flawed assumptions: First, we are not close to having an immortality pill; but secondly, even if we were, it would not find itself being disseminated across the entire human population in less than a century, and no one would be compelled to take the pill even if they had it available to them. And even if they were, it would take another hundred years before one could detect a noticeable perturbation in the age profile of third-world countries (from today's steep pyramids with a sharp apex to open cylinders). In other words, these presumed adverse social side effects will not hit us overnight, but we would have plenty of time to do something about them before they became onerous or irreversible. Dr. Ronald Klatz's follow-on article "The [Economic] Benefits of Immortality," pp. 49-51 in the same issue provides us with a little more perspective.

8. A somewhat dated, but still-useful, reference is by the former pollster, Dr. George Gallup...
George Gallup and Evan Hill, The Secrets of Long Life (Bernard Geis Associates; Random House, New York; 1959).
They reported on 402 95-year-olds-and-above (250 females and 152 males) whose demographics were as follows:
[95 - 99] yo = 59 percent
[100 - 109] = 39 percent
[110 and over] = 1 percent (Some cases were subsequently discredited.)
The Distribution of Disabilities was as follows:
1. Dementia (Mentally Hazy) = 7 percent (mentally alert = 66 percent)
2. Lameness (Need a wheel chair) = 29 percent
3. Reduced Vision = 55 percent (Blind = 4 percent )
4. Hard-of-Hearing = 54 percent (Deaf = 3 percent )

Click for the Okinawa Centenarian Study Group in Japan. Note that a 483-page textbook based on a 25-year landmark study on the Okinawa Program has now been published... Bradley J. Wilcox, D. Craig Wilcox, and Makoto Suzuki, The Okinawa Program: How the World's Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health (Clarkson Potter Publishers, New York; 2001).

Table of Scientific Centenarian Study Groups Throughout the World








Principal Investigator(s)


Approximate Number of Centenarians Studied



Dr. Tom Perls, M.D.

New England Centenarian Study

Boston University

Boston, MA




Dr. Leonard Poon, MD

University of Georgia




Drs. Jean-Marie Robine and Michel Allard

IPSEN Foundation




Drs. Robine and James Vaupel

Supercentenarians Database






Dr. Claudio Franceschi

National Research Council and Ministries




Dr. Bernard Jeune

Odense University




Dr. Zeng Yi and James Vaupel

The Chinese National Research Center on Aging

Peking University

Duke University


Max Plack Institute for Demographic Research


Reference: Robert Koenig, "Sardinia's Mysterious Male Methuselahs: More Men Live Past 100 on this Italian Island, Proportionally, Than Anywhere Else, It Appears. Scientists Are Now Trying to Explain Why," Science, Vol. 291, No. 5511, pp. 1074-6 (March 16, 2001). [ Editor's Note: Has anyone ever compared Sardinia with Okinawa?]

March 1, 2001; Nagoya, JAPAN; We are sad to report that Mrs. Gin Kanie (twin of Mrs. Kin Narita) born on August 1, 1892 died of natural causes yesterday at the age of 108. Both twins have now passed away. They were poster children for graceful longevity in a rapidly graying Japan.
Kin Narita (L) and Gin Kainie (R) at age 107 Kin Narita (L) and Gin Kainie (R) at age 107
Ref. Obituaries, Valerie Reitman, "Gin Kanie, 108; She and Twin Sister Became Elderly Celebrities in Japan," The Los Angeles Times (March 1, 2001).

These were the oldest living female twins [or perhaps of any gender] in the world. Kin passed away on January 23, 2000 from heart failure at the age of 107. Question: Does anyone among our readers know if they were identical or fraternal twins? Please get in touch with us if you know the answer. [ Editor's Note: The various accounts accessible on the Internet are filled with gobs of gratuitous information but have omitted this vital point from their reports.]

March 12, 2004; In response to the question posed above, Otilia Sofron of GERMANY wrote, "the answer can be found in Asia Week Magazine.

The relevant passage is the following...
DIED: Mrs. Kin Narita, 107, one of Japan's famed centenarian twin sisters, of heart failure, in Nagoya, JAPAN on January 23, 2000. The world's oldest living identical pair -- Kin and sister Gin Kanie became media icons when they gained prominence eight years ago after being featured on a television program. Thriving under the attention they garnered by appearing in commercials and at public events, the pair became the annual focus of Respect the Aged Day, a national holiday. When informed of her sister's death, Gin said that she could not do anything but weep."

More Curious Facts about Twins:

To our knowledge, the oldest male twins ever were Eli and John Phipps born February 14, 1803. Eli lived to 108 years, 9 days. They were also the USA's longest-lived male twins.

UPDATE: October 1, 2001 The John Phipps/Eli Phipps case is now in dispute. A genealogical web site has them listed as born in 1812, making them 99 and 104 years old. This site has not only the same birthdays, death days, siblings, and parents, it also has the CORRECT place of birth Abingdon (Washington County), Virginia. Unhappily, Guinness lists Affington (sic), Virginia, which doesn't even exist. For more data on the Phipps twins, please see the website
www.siscom.net/~c003394/haynes.web/Per00914.htm .
Therefore, it now appears that Kin Narita and Gin Kanie, who currently hold the record for the oldest female twins (both having reached the age of 107 years) are, in fact, the oldest twins of any gender.

The record for the oldest twins in the US may be Allie Grubbb Hill and Maggie Grubb Lambeth. Both were born January 13, 1884. Allie died in January 1990 at 106; while Maggie died March 6, 1990 also at 106 years. Both were included in Guinness in the mid-1980's. The men's record is now held by the Moyer twins. Glen and Dale Moyer were both born June 20, 1895. Glen died first on April 16, 2001 at 105 years, 300 days. Dale may still be living. For more information, please visit the website...

Among the oldest female twins in the USA were Mildred Widman Phillipi and Mary Widman Franzini of the US. Mildred died 44 days short of their 105th birthday.

Currently, the oldest living female twins in the US (and perhaps the world) may be Gertrude Blasingame and Pearl Due of Arkansas, who turned 100 in 1999 and were born July 27, 1899. We have heard of Mary and Marian Lamb of the US born in 1895, who were at one time listed as the US's oldest set, but have no further information on them. Twins Treva Pence and Mabel Harpine of Maryland turned 99 on July 19, 2000, they were born in 1900. Isabelle Ferguson Lettinger and Charlotte Ford born July 30, 1904 in Pennsylvania, turned 95 in 1999. The oldest living male twins we can identify are Lee and Sam DeSpain who celebrated their 98th birthday January 13, 2000 and who currently reside in Kentucky.

Still More on Twins:

October 8, 2001; Since the death April 16, 2001 of Glen Moyer, the oldest living twins [world wide] have been Jacoba Cornelia van der Meulen-Tjadaen and Cornelia Jacoba van der Meulen-Dikkstra of the Netherlands, who were born March 31, 1898 and are now 103. The oldest living twins in the US are now Esteller Oksol and Luvella Oleson of South Dakota, who were born April 20, 1900 and are now 101.

[ Editor's Note: The previous oldest US twins were again Glen and Dale Moyer. The oldest female twins were Pearl Due and Gertrude Blasingame. Gertrude died November 1, 2000 at 101. By the way, Lee DeSpain died September 25, 2000 at the age of 98.]

The oldest living male twins in the US are now believed to be Sherman and Sheridan Everett of Oregon, who both celebrated their 99th birthdays September 6, 2001.

October 31; 2003; Ms. Helen Morlok, one of the world's oldest identical quadruplets, died today at the age of 73. The Guinness Book of Records listed them as the world's oldest identical quadruplets, and their birth was called a "medical miracle." At that time, the odds of having quadruplets was 1 in 500,000. Helen, Edna, Sarah, and Wilma were all born May 19, 1930 to Saide and Carl Morlok. It was the first pregnancy for the 31-year-old nurse while the father was a 41-year-old factory worker. The four girls were named in honor of the hospital where they were born, Edward W. Sparrow Hospital (Edna for Edward; Wilma for W.; Sarah for Sparrow; and Helen for Hospital). Their middle initials are A, B, C, and D. Their novelty led them to a brief career in show business (tap-dancing, singing, and performing comedy skits in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio) when they were young. She is her survived by two of her sisters.

Click to continue with File No. 2 of 11.