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Clarence Matthews

Validated By: On Date: Mar. 20th 2023

Clarence Francis "Larry" Matthews was an American supercentenarian who was the oldest known living man in the United States at the time of his death.


Clarence Francis Matthews was born in Oakland, California, USA, on 1 May 1906. He was the fifth of nine children born to parents Frank Matthews and Marianna Souza, both immigrants from the Azores, Portugal. As a boy he was delivering newspapers for $6 a month. He graduated from high school at the age of 16. After graduation, he went to work for Montgomery Ward as a construction worker. [source]

At some point, he met Barbara Elizabeth Hischer who was a model at Capwells. They got married on 9 June 1931 and had two children, Susan in 1937 and Stephen in 1941. During the Great Depression, he was the only member of his family who worked, so he supported both his parents and seven siblings. For most of his adult life, he worked as a credit manager for several major department stores, until 1950 when he started a new career in construction.

In 1951, he met Kathryn Schwartz, whom he married the next year. When he was in his 50s, he bought a piece of land in Huntington Beach, drew plans, and built his first apartment building. His partner in the project was Fredricks Development Company, who were so pleased with the results that they hired him to be the Vice President of Apartment Construction for Fredricks, the position he held until his retirement. [source]

In 1972, he moved from Corona Del Mar to Indian Wells with his wife. Following his retirement in 1980, he traveled all over the world along with his second wife – his favorite places were Ireland and Hawaii. He played golf three days a week. His second wife died in 1990. He stopped driving at the age of 100.

His younger sister, Claribel Christine Gow (22 August 1911 – 24 December 2017), passed away at the age of 106. [source] Four of his other siblings – two sisters and two brothers – lived to be 90 or older. He attributed his longevity to a daily routine that included pound cake, a dose of Bailey’s Irish Cream and a few hands of gin rummy.

Matthews passed away in Indian Wells, California, USA, on 22 July 2017, at the age of 111 years, 82 days. [source] He was survived by his two children, 7 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.

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Matthews became the oldest known man in the United States following the death of Frank Levingston on 3 May 2016.

His age was validated by LongeviQuest on 20 March 2023.