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Thomas Peter Thorvald Kristian Ferdinand Mortensen (1882 - 1998)

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Thomas Peter Thorvald Kristian Ferdinand (Christian) Mortensen
Born in Skårup, Skanderborg, Denmarkmap
Son of [father unknown] and [mother unknown]
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
Died in San Rafael, California, USAmap
Profile last modified | Created 26 Apr 2018
This page has been accessed 40 times.

Categories: American Notables | Danish Notables | Supercentenarians.


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Thomas Peter Thorvald Kristian Ferdinand Mortensen (16 August 1882 – 25 April 1998), known as an adult as Christian Mortensen, was a Danish-American supercentenarian. When he died, his age of 115 years, 252 days was the longest verified lifespan of any male in modern history until 28 December 2012, when Jiroemon Kimura of Japan surpassed this record. Mortensen was the first man confirmed to reach age 115 (in 1997).

Mortensen was baptized in Fruering Church on December 26, 1882. Besides his baptismal record, other records include the 1890 and 1901 census enumerations in Denmark, and church confirmation in 1896.

Christian Mortensen was born the son of a tailor in the village of Skårup, near the city of Skanderborg, Denmark, on August 16, 1882. He began work as a tailor's apprentice in Skanderborg at age 16, in 1898, and later took work as a farmhand.

Mortensen emigrated to the United States in 1903, then aged about 20 or 21 years old. He traveled while working as a tailor but settled in Chicago where he had relatives. Mortensen worked various trades including as a milkman for Borden's Milk, as a restaurateur, and as a factory worker for the Continental Can Company. He was married for less than ten years, divorced and had no children. He did not remarry.

In 1950, Mortensen retired near Galveston Bay, Texas. Then, 28 years later at the age of 96, he moved to a retirement home in San Rafael, California. Mortensen claimed he rode his bicycle to the Aldersly Retirement Community, telling the staff that he was there to stay. Mortensen lived at Aldersly until his death in 1998.

He enjoyed an occasional cigar and insisted that smoking in moderation was not unhealthy. Mortensen preferred a vegetarian diet. He also drank boiled water. Mortensen was legally blind towards the end of his life and spent much of his time in a wheelchair listening to the radio. Toward the end of his life, his memory of distant events was good, but he could not remember recent events and increasingly needed assistance from the Aldersly staff.

On his 115th birthday 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".


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No known carriers of Christian's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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