The Gerontology Research Group validates current longevity records by modern standards, and maintains a list of supercentenarians; many other unvalidated longevity claims exist. Record-holding individuals include:
- Geert Adriaans Boomgaard (1788–1899, 110 years, 135 days): first person to reach the age of 110 (on September 21, 1898) and whose age could be validated.
- Jeanne Calment (1875–1997, 122 years, 164 days): the oldest person in history whose age has been verified by modern documentation. This defines the modern human life span, which is set by the oldest documented individual who ever lived.
- Sarah Knauss (1880–1999, 119 years, 97 days): the second oldest documented person in modern times and the oldest American.
- Christian Mortensen (1882–1998, 115 years, 252 days): the oldest man in history whose age has been verified by modern documentation.
- Besse Cooper (born 1896): celebrated her 116th birthday in August 2012, currently the oldest living person.
Read more about this topic: Longevity
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—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)