7 January 1906Skoerping, Nordjylland, Denmark


22 July 2017Stavtrup, Aarhus, Midtjylland, Denmark



Ellen Brandenborg

Ellen Brandenborg (née Rasmussen) was a Danish supercentenarian who was the oldest living person in the Nordic region at the time of her death. Her age has been validated by the European Supercentenarian Organization (ESO).

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Ellen Adelaide Rasmussen was born on 7 January 1906, in the railway town of Skoerping, Nordjylland, Denmark. She was the fourth of ten siblings born to parents Rasmus Peder Edvard (1870-1939) and Ane Birgitte Christine Rasmussen (1878-1976). She was given the middle name of Adelaide to honor her paternal grandmother, Louise Therese Adelaide Rasmussen (1845-1904), who died a year and a half before her birth. Her father worked as a watchmaker, and the family moved to Copenhagen for his job.

In 1929, at the age of 23, she emigrated to Montreal, Canada to find work. It was here where she met her future husband, a fellow Danish emigrant named Carl Brandenborg, at a local church, and the two were married in 1930. The couple would have four children together (1 son and 3 daughters) before deciding to move back to Denmark in 1936, where Carl would find work in the town of Viby as a factory machinist. They would remain married for 52 years, until Carl’s death in 1982.

She attributed her longevity to living life in moderation, avoiding tobacco, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and having good friends and family. Aside from a hip replacement surgery in 1980, she was never hospitalized, and was rarely sick. In 2013, at the age of 107, she voted in the municipal elections by mail for the first time, and emphasized the importance of voting, stating that “those who don’t vote are lazy”. She continued to live independently in her apartment until a few months before her 109th birthday, when she decided to move to a nursing home. At the time of her 110th birthday in 2016, her eyesight and hearing were poor, but she still maintained an active lifestyle and positive attitude. Her cognitive faculties had remained intact, and she was able to recall stories from her childhood.

Ellen Brandenborg died in Stavtrup, Aarhus, Midtjylland, Denmark on 22 July 2017, at the age of 111 years, 196 days. She was survived by three children, seven grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

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Following the death of Signe Hoejer on 18 March 2016, she became the oldest living person in Denmark. 9 months later, following the death of Norway’s Elisabet Ekenaes, she became the oldest living person in the whole Nordic region. At the time of her death, she was the oldest person ever to die in Denmark, but wasn’t the oldest Danish-born person, as Danish-American Christian Mortensen died in California in 1998 at the age of 115. Her record as Denmark’s oldest woman would later be surpassed by Karla Lindholm Jensen in 2019.

Her age was verified by Jimmy Lindberg, and validated by ESO on 17 July 2023.

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* “Ellen på 107: Kun dovne mennesker stemmer ikke” – DR, 16 November 2013

* “Født under Christian IX: 110 år med livslysten i behold” – Århus Stiftstidende, 7 January 2016

Ellen er lige fyldt 111 år og er den ældste dansker” – Den Korte Avis, 12 January 2017

* “Danmarks ældste person er død: Ellen blev 111 år gammel” – DR, 26 July 2017