LongeviQuest has announced a Mutual Recognition and Partnership Agreement with the European Supercentenarian Organisation (ESO).

LongeviQuest CEO Ben Meyers announced the agreement with the following statement:

“I am happy to share with you that the European Supercentenarian Organisation (ESO) and LongeviQuest (LQ) have reached a formal agreement on mutual recognition and partnership.  Moving forward, we each recognize the legitimacy of each other’s research and consider each other Accredited Partner Organisations.

This agreement follows months of dialogue between me and the co-founders of ESO – Dr. Andrew Holmes, Chris Law, and Marco Wikkerink – as well as discussions between the three of them and ESO’s family of correspondents.  The result is an agreement which grants ESO equal stature to LQ Subsidiaries for research and validation purposes.  That means a few things, including:
·       Immediately, LQ recognizes 885 cases validated by ESO.  These cases were compiled by ESO leadership and reviewed by the LQ Research Leadership Team.  Because it will take some time to input all of these into the LQ Directory, we will soon share the list separately to confirm our recognition of these cases.  Additionally, ESO recognizes all LQ validations.
·       ESO will now be represented on the Global Validation Commission.  The ESO Commissioner will have equal voting power to the Commissioners representing LQ Subsidiaries.  They will vote on validations, including those sourced from LQ, and will also be empowered to enforce (and refine) validation standards and procedures.
·       Validations sourced from ESO will have Accredited Status, giving them the “benefit of the doubt” and requiring a higher threshold for rejection by the Global Validation Commission.  For validation approval purposes, ESO cases and LQ cases will be treated the same.

It is important to note that this is a partnership, not a merger.  The mutual recognition agreement only covers future cases which are submitted to the Global Validation Commission, but no ESO researcher will ever be compelled to submit cases to LQ.  This agreement represents collaboration in the purest sense, enabling us to achieve together even more than we have already achieved apart.

You will hear more from the leadership of both ESO and LQ in the coming days.  This is an exciting time for our field!”

LongeviQuest has confirmed that Marita Camacho Quirós, former First Lady of Costa Rica, has reached the age of 112.  Sra. Camacho Quirós is the oldest verified living person in Costa Rica, as well as the longest-living First Lady (or Presidential Spouse) of any nation in world history.

Camacho Quirós on her 109th birthday. Photo by La Teja (www.lateja.cr)

Sra. Camacho Quirós was the First Lady of Costa Rica during the Presidency of her husband, Francisco Orlich Bolmarcich, from 1962 to 1966.  During her time as First Lady, Sra. Camacho Quirós traveled extensively and met with notable historical figures such as Pope John XXIII, Francisco Franco, and U.S. Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.  Sra. Camacho Quirós also used her time as First Lady to advocate for the poor, specifically focusing on projects to provide housing to those without permanent homes.

Sra. Camacho Quirós has lived in Costa Rica for her entire life.  She was widowed in 1969, but today enjoys the frequent company of many close family members including multiple great-grandchildren.

One of the few supercentenarians known for reasons other than longevity, her status as a supercentenarian was formally documented by Latin American Supercentenarians based on the research of Fabrizio Villatoro, who now leads LongeviQuest’s research activities in Latin America.

LongeviQuest has validated the age claim for Mary Maiurino (1907-2019) of the U.S. state of New York.  Mrs. Maiurino was born in Syracuse, New York in 1907 and passed away in nearby Fayetteville, New York in 2019 at the age of 112.  The daughter of Italian immigrants (birth surname Giannuzzi), Mrs. Maiurino was married in 1934 to Anthony Maiurino, with whom she had two children.

Undated. (Source: Farone & Son Inc)
(Source: Farone & Son Inc)

Note: claimed date of birth 28 October 1907; validated with date of birth 24 October 1907.

Creativity in adapting to the limitations that aging can bring is an essential part of maintaining resilience and productivity over time. Henri Matisse (1869-1954), a French painter and leading artist of the early twentieth century, provides an example of creative adaptation. Throughout most of his career, Matisse sculpted and painted large canvases with vibrant colors and wild brushstrokes, becoming a leader in the Fauvism movement of the early 20th century. In his 70’s, he was confined to a wheelchair after surgery for duodenal cancer that left him unable to paint or sculpt. Because of these limitations, he developed a new method of producing art, by cutting shapes from colored paper and having assistants arrange them on a canvas, something that he was able to do while seated. This “cut-out” art ultimately became some of his most acclaimed work. 

According to Nick Riggle, a professor of philosophy and author of “This Beauty: The Philosophy of Being Alive”, Matisse viewed this time as the “culmination of his artistic life” and quotes Matisse as saying, “Only what I created after the illness constitutes my real self: free, liberated.” In Riggle’s essay for the New York Times, he discusses accepting changes that come with aging and disability in the context of radical openness and acceptance. He describes the lesson of Matisse as what we can learn when we “practice a radical aesthetic openness to our bodies, to what they can do and produce as time and chance inevitably transform us.” 

Instead of viewing older age as a time of decline and regression, Dr. Gene Cohen, a pioneering psychiatrist in geriatric mental health, established that creativity is both an essential component of healthy aging and a quality that can increase with age. Dr. Cohen cites evidence that creative expression and engagement in artistic pursuits benefit health by giving the individual a sense of mastery, boosting the immune system, increasing social engagement, and promoting brain plasticity. 

According to Dr. Cohen, during later life, people can experience a greater sense of freedom that allows for increased experimentation and creativity. He cites the choreographer Martha Graham, the poet William Carlos Williams, and artist Elizabeth Layton, who all reached creative peaks after age 65. Notably, Williams published his 1962 work Pictures from Brueghel and Other Collected Poems, ten years after he suffered a series of strokes and was hospitalized for severe depression. Writing poetry helped alleviate Williams’ depression and the resulting book of poetry ultimately won a Pulitzer Prize. Cohen quotes Williams as describing the period as “old age that adds as it takes away”. For Williams, he found creative productivity despite aging and disability. 

Advanced age can allow for an increased capacity for creativity and adaptation to obstacles, along with greater opportunities to pursue creative passions. Creativity is a quality that can promote healthy, happier aging. Longeviquest profiles verified supercentenarians who exhibit examples of flourishing creative pursuits in older age:

  • Chiyo Miyako: originally from the Wakayama Prefecture in Japan, Miyako lived until 117 years old. At age 114, she was still engaged in her long-term hobbies of calligraphy and writing haiku.
  • Jeralean Talley: born in Georgia, Talley lived until 116 years old and was the oldest person in the world when she died. She enjoyed bowling and continued to do so until age 104, when her legs became too weak. Undeterred by this change, she instead took up fishing with a friend to replace her former hobby.



Cohen, Gene D. “Research on Creativity and Aging: The Positive Impact of the Arts on Health and Illness.” Aging and the Arts, (2006). Accessed March 7, 2023. http://www.cas.miamioh.edu/oma1/OMARoot/Research/Cohen_2006.pdf.

Riggle, Nick. “How Henri Matisse (and I) Got a ‘Beautiful Body’.” New York Times, December 25, 2022. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/25/opinion/matisse-disability-beauty-body.html.

In February 2023, LongeviQuest received the documentation for Mathew Beard, an American supercentenarian whose age was verified by the Kestenbaum study, and validated by the Gerontology Research Group in 2003.

Beard claimed to have been born in Norfolk, Virginia, USA, on 9 July 1870. With the final age of 114 years, 222 days, he was believed to have been the oldest living person in the world from the death of Emma Wilson on 13 October 1983, until his own death over a year later, on 16 February 1985. He was posthumously validated as the oldest person ever, a title he held between April 1984, until his age was surpassed by Augusta Holtz in 1986. Following his validation, he was also recognized as the first person to reach the age of 114, and the oldest African-American man ever, and currently, the fourth-oldest validated man in history.

After reviewing the documentation submitted by an independent researcher, Jimmy Lindberg, the Global Validation Commission concluded that the validation was inaccurate.

Beard at the age of 107. (Source: The 110 Club)
Beard at the claimed age of 107.
(Source: The 110 Club)

Beard, who got married in 1912, spent most of his life in the U.S. state of Florida. Multiple census records have been located, including Florida State census records from 1935 and 1945 respectively. While the 1920 census entry – the first census record following his marriage, has not been located, the 1930 one was, supporting he was living in Sumter, Florida with his wife and ten children. The entry lists his age as “60” as of April 1930, which is approximately in accordance with his claimed age. Some of the later records also support the claimed age, however, one of the first noticeable deviations is his birthplace was never listed as Virginia, his claimed state of birth. The state of birth varied from Florida, Georgia and North Carolina during the years.

Among the located documentation was the Social Security Application (SSA) in which his parents were reported as “Ned Beard” (“Ned” likely being a nickname for “Edward”) and “Martha Bures.” His birthplace is listed as North Fork in Smyth County, Virginia, not the city of Norfolk. With the basic information from the SSA and newspaper articles, Lindberg was able to locate a possible 1900 US census record entry. Beard, who is listed as having been born in October 1886, was living in Columbia (Georgia) with his parents, Edward and Martha Beard, and five siblings. His birthplace is listed as Georgia, the state that was mentioned as his birthplace in the 1945 Florida State census entry. The 1880 US Census for the same family shows that they were living in Columbia and had two children at the time, Nettie (3 years old) and Jeremiah (3 months old). There is no child named Mathew listed.

It is thought that a wrong 1880 census record was used in the original validation from 2003. A 12-year-old boy named Mathew Baird lived in Milan, Gibson County, Tennessee in June 1880. He lived with his parents, Anderson and Martha Baird. The mother’s name matches with the one from the supercentenarian claimant’s SSA, and perhaps it was assumed that “Ned” was a peculiar nickname for “Anderson”. The 1870 US Census Record for the same family shows Mathew (listed as “Mathis Baird”) living in Carroll County, Tennessee. His age, however, is recorded as “4” on 24 June 1870, so was this the supercentenarian claimant who died in 1985, he would have been 119 rather than 114. Lindberg however located additional evidence supporting these records do not belong to the claimant, since the mother’s maiden name was Bryant, not Bures, and the father was never listed as “Ned.”

Statewide registration of births in Georgia began in 1919, therefore it’s highly unlikely a birth registration can be located. However, considering how the earliest located record dates to 16 June 1900, and since Beard was listed as having been born in October 1886 (therefore 13 years old at the time), it’s safe to assume he was nowhere near his claimed age of 114. Based on the located evidence, it’s more likely he was 98 at the time of death in February 1985.

In conclusion, LongeviQuest no longer recognizes the case as Validated, and is therefore changing the validation status from “Validated” to “Devalidated.” Though his supercentenarian status was effectively debunked, no precise date of birth could be determined.

The LongeviQuest team paid a visit to Sra. María Branyas Morera on the day before her 116th birthday. We met with her and her family at the town of Olot in the autonomous community of Catalonia. Here are some pictures of the celebration.

Click on each photo to enlarge.

The Japanese concept of ikigai has recently become popular among Western audiences. The idea has largely been translated through the Western lens as a method for finding the perfect career. However, the concept in Japanese culture applies more broadly as an approach to life and wellness. The website “Positive Psychology” describes the concept in Japanese culture as “…embracing the joy of little things, being in the here and now, reflecting on past happy memories, and having a frame of mind that one can build a happy and active life.” Michiko Kumano, a Japanese psychologist, compared the concept in Japanese society to actions of devoting oneself to pursuits one enjoys and associated it with feelings of accomplishment and fulfillment, similar to the concept of eudaimonia in Greek tradition. 

Research has established a positive association between individuals with ikigai and longevity and better quality of life. One study from The Lancet Regional Health Western Pacific found that having ikigai was associated with a 31% lower risk of functional disability and a 36% lower risk of developing dementia over a 3-year period. The presence of ikigai  “was associated with decreased depressive symptoms and hopelessness as well as higher happiness, life satisfaction, instrumental activity of daily living, and certain social outcomes.” Greater levels of social interaction are  associated with higher levels of ikigai, while levels of physical functioning were not. Ikigai was also associated with a decreased risk of mortality among Japanese people in one study. 

Cultures structured around integrating people of all ages into daily life and creating opportunities for ikigai into older age contribute to increased longevity and better quality of life. The island of Okinawa, Japan, has exceptional longevity in the population, even for Japan, the country with the most centenarians per capita in the world. Some of their longevity can be attributed to a heart-healthy diet and a physically active lifestyle. But their deeply embedded sense of ikigai is also integral to longevity on the island. In the Okinawan village of Ogimi, groups of older women weave traditional basho-fu textiles, which allows them to make an income while participating in the local economy and maintaining social contact. According to Dr. Bradley Willcox, a geriatrician and author of The Okinawa Way, the Okinawan centenarians he studied maintained an ikigai, whether that be faith, family, or one 102-year-old man’s devotion to his two prize bulls. Dr. Willcox also reports that there is no word for retirement in the Okinawan language and that people continue to stay engaged in their life’s work long into old age.

What brings someone ikigai in later life is unique and specific to the individual. Learning about the life of those who have lived the longest can help us understand how to find our own ikigai. We profile validated supercentenarians, many of whom have led lives filled with high levels of ikigai

  • Tomiko Itooka, from Osaka, Japan, 114 years old, has maintained a devotion to Buddhism and physical activity, climbing Mount Ontake twice and participating in the 1000+ km Saigoku Kannon Pilgrimage while in her 80s. 
  • Bessie Hendricks, from Iowa, lived until age 115 and, despite selling her family farm in 1979, stayed active in helping her family with processing chickens and stayed involved in her church, which she had belonged to for 92 years. 
  • Violet Brown, from Jamaica, lived to 117 years old and credited her longevity to “God, respecting her parents, working hard and eating coconut sauce.” Near the end of her life, she still enjoyed “going to church, reading books and listening to music.” 

While the longevity of the individuals profiled on LongeviQuest might not be within reach for everyone, their approach to overall wellness and happiness can be a template for everyone to lead a happier, more fulfilling life. 

LongeviQuest has validated the age claim for Flaviano Cruspero Jubane (1909-2020) of the Philippines.  Mr. Jubane’s posthumous recognition makes him the first ever validated Filipino supercentenarian, and he was likely the oldest living man in the Philippines at the time of his death.

Photo sourced from public contribution to Gerontology Wikia

Mr. Jubane was born in Antequera, Bohol, Philippines.  Several of his 11 siblings reached advanced ages, including a brother who passed away in 2016 at the age of 103.  Mr. Jubane was married twice and fathered 9 children in total.  He passed away in Antequera, the city of his birth, in 2020, 53 days after reaching his 110th birthday.

Mr. Jubane’s age was validated by LongeviQuest on 20 January 2023 based on the research of Jeffrey Xu and an additional researcher who requested anonymity.

LongeviQuest has validated the age claim for Lourdina Conceição Lobo (1908-2021) of India.  Mrs. Lobo’s posthumous recognition makes her the first ever validated Indian supercentenarian, and she was likely one of the longest-lived people in the history of India.

Photo sourced from The Herald Goa (heraldgoa.in)

Mrs. Lobo was born in the current state of Goa, at the time a Portuguese colony.  She lived most in her life in Goa, aside from a period spent living in Bombay (Mumbai) after getting married in 1944.  She gave birth to her first child at the age of 37, and would later have three more children.  Despite being diagnosed with diabetes at a young age, Mrs. Lobo lived an active life until well into her 90s.  She spoke four languages: Konkani, English, Latin, and Portuguese.  At the time of her death, she had many close family members living nearby including a sister in her 90s and at least one great-grandchild.

While two prior validated supercentenarians had been born in India under the British Raj, Mrs. Lobo was the first validated supercentenarian to live most of her life and pass away in India.

Mrs. Lobo’s age was validated by LongeviQuest on 20 January 2023 based on the research of Jeffrey Xu.

LongeviQuest has validated the age claim for Pearl Berg (born 1909), currently the second-oldest known living person in the U.S. state of California.  Additionally, Mrs. Berg is believed to be the world’s oldest living person of the Jewish faith.

Photo originally published by the Jewish Journal (jewishjournal.com)

Born Pearl Synenberg in Indiana to parents of Polish and Russian descent, Mrs. Berg spent her childhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  She moved to California near the end of the 1920s, and nearly immediately met her husband Mark Berg, an immigrant from present-day Ukraine.  The two were married in 1931 and had two sons, and Mrs. Berg has lived in California ever since.  Widowed in 1989, Mrs. Berg maintains an active life.  She currently resides in her own home and is an active member of her synagogue.

Mrs. Berg’s age was validated by LongeviQuest on 18 January 2023 based on the research of Stefan Maglov.