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Walter Richardson

Walter Charles Richardson was an American supercentenarian and the world’s oldest validated living man from the death of Johnson Parks on 17 July 1998 until his own death five months later.


Walter Charles Richardson was born in Huron, South Dakota, USA, on 7 November 1885, to parents Charles and Mary. In the early 1900s, he helped his father on the family farm. After realizing that farming wasn’t for him, he got a job as a teacher at a country school.

Richardson married Ida Speeckeen on September 2, 1913. The couple had no children. Richardson enlisted in World War I after United States entered the war in 1917. After the war, he worked for several companies before moving to Ogle County, Illinois.

In October 1942, Richardson began a banking career with the Holcomb Bank in Chicago. When he retired at the age of 89 in 1975, Richardson was vice president. His wife passed away in 1980, aged 92.

On his 112th birthday, it was reported that he was in good physical and mental health. When asked for the secret to his longevity, Richardson said “Don’t drink. Don’t smoke. And don’t burn the candle at both ends…” He added how he always exercised, walked a lot on the farm, and after moving to the city he preferred walking over driving a car or taking a bus.

Richardson died in Illinois, USA, on 25 December 1998, at the age of 113 years, 48 days.

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His age was verified by the Kestenbaum study, and Gerontology Research Group later included him on the list of oldest validated people.

On 17 July 1998, following the death of 113-year-old Johnson Parks of Florida, USA, he became the world’s oldest living man, at the age of 112 years, 252 days.