Emilio Flores Márquez was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, on 8 August 1908. He was the second of eleven children born to parents Alberto Flores and Margarita Marquez. He attended school for three years and learned how to read and write, before his father thought it was enough and employed him on the family’s sugarcane farm, where he helped his father water the compost.
In 1935, He married Andrea Pérez (1918–2010), with whom he had four children: Hilda Luz, Olga Soraida, Emilio, and Tirsa. To support his family, he worked in the state of New Jersey, where a portion of his family still lives today. The couple were married for over 75 years before her death in 2010 at the age of 92. Two of his children, Hilda and Olga, were deceased as of 2013.
When asked for his secret to his longevity, he responded “My dad raised me with love, and taught me to love everyone. He always told me and my brothers and sisters to do good, to share everything with others. Besides, Christ lives in me!” His sister Joaquina (1916–2018) lived to be 101, and his brother Miguel (1920–2017) died in New Jersey, two months before turning 97.
Flores Márquez lived with his children Tirsa and Emilio in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico for the last years of his life. At the age of 103, he overcame surgery to implant a pacemaker, and at 108, he survived an intestinal obstruction.
Emilio Flores Marquez died on 12 August 2021 in Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico, at the age of 113 years, 4 days.