Health

People who made it to 100 and beyond

By Jen Christensen, CNN

Updated 2:24 PM ET, Wed May 10, 2017
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Fauja Singh is recognized as the first 100-year-old to ever run a marathon. The great-grandfather, nicknamed the "Turbaned Tornado," continues to run or walk every day. Now 106, he took up running to overcome his grief after the death of his wife and a son. He ran his first marathon at age 89. The key to life: "Laughter and happiness. That's your remedy for everything." PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images
Italian Luigina Vigiconte, 101, offered this advice: "Always be optimistic, never bitter, and always be polite with people." Vigiconte, who has eight sons, lives in Acciaroli, south of Naples, where one in 10 people is a centenarian. Scientists who have studied the area say the Mediterranean diet, genetics, regular exercise and the climate contribute to the longevity of the population. Gianluca Cecere for CNN
Vincenzo Baratta, 103, who also lives in Acciaroli, said there are two secrets to his long life. One is his diet; the farmer eats only once a day and avoids meat. He eats some fish and homemade pasta and has only one glass of wine per day. His other key: having "a lot of women in his life." A neighbor said he has gone through several caregivers because he made so many passes at them. Gianluca Cecere for CNN
Misao Okawa of Osaka, Japan, was 117 when she died April 1, 2015. She was the world's oldest person at the time, according to Guinness World Records. She was born on March 5, 1898, and had three children. Her husband died in 1931. She kept in shape throughout much of her life, saying that helped her live so long; at 102, she said she did leg squats to keep healthy. She didn't start using a wheelchair until she turned 110. Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images
Ruline Steininger, 103, was one of the first people in Iowa to vote for Hillary Clinton in September. The former schoolteacher, who cast her first vote for Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, said that staying politically active kept her young but also told her local paper that the secret to her long life was "I just keep not dying." She eventually did, in February.
Ruth Frith died February 28 at the age of 104. At 102, the Australian native was the oldest living competitor at the World Masters Games in Sydney, where she won several gold medals and set world records. Her advice for a long life? Avoid smoking, drinking and vegetables. She was also an optimist: "Every year brings something new. I've always been content with what I have." Craig Golding/Getty Images
Konstantinos Spanos, 103, lives in Ikaria, a Greek island with a reputation for long-lived residents. Sponos said the key to his long life is modesty in everything, including "food, women and entertainment," although he might also want to add reading. He reads five hours a day. Bill Weir/CNN
Mieko Nagaoka, a 100-year-old Japanese woman who became the world's first centenarian to complete a 1,500-meter freestyle swim, hopes to swim until she is 105. She took up swimming at age 80 to help with a knee problem. She credits the exercise with her healthy and long life. She trains four days a week. Japan Masters Swimming Association
James Sisnett was born February 22, 1900, in Barbados. He made it to 113 and believed he lived that long by eating good food; having a daily "little one," his name for an alcoholic drink; and "God's grace." He worked as a blacksmith, a sugar factory worker and a farmer before retiring at age 70. His longevity made him a local celebrity. His only real health challenge toward the end of his life was hearing loss. He died in May 2013. courtesy Gerard Sisnette
Mississippi Winn was born March 31, 1897, in Benton, Louisiana, and lived to be 113. She maintained her independence until age 103; at 105, she was still walking and working out daily at a local track. Winn said exercise and an optimistic attitude helped her live a long and healthy life. She died in January 2011. Val Horvath/the shreveport times/ap
Man Kaur, 101, is still a competitive runner and javelin thrower. From Chandigarh, India, the great-grandmother didn't start competing in sports until she was 93. She credits her daily training, positivity and her avoidance of fried food for her long life. Michael Craig/New Zealand Herald
Susannah Mushatt Jones lived to 116. Born in Lowndes County, Alabama, she moved to New York to work as a live-in child care provider. Earning only $50 a week, she put three nieces through college. She attributed her longevity to clean living, not smoking or drinking, and surrounding herself with loving family members and friends. Sleep also helped, she said. Philip Robertson/Guinness World Record
Jiroemon Kimura was born April 19, 1897, and died June 12, 2013, at the age of 116. The retired Japanese postal worker attributed his long life to eating light, working in the sunshine and not smoking. After his postal career, he worked on a farm: "I am always looking up towards the sky; that is how I am." Of his six siblings, five lived to the age of 90. The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images
Violet Mosse-Brown, 117, is the current oldest person in the world. She grew up in Jamaica, born 67 years before the country was founded, and said she earned that title by avoiding rum and through her "faith in serving God." The music teacher and church organist still keeps her mind active, keeping the records for the local cemetery. Nicole Palmer Murray
Jeanne Calment was born February 21, 1875, and lived to the age of 122 in Arles, France (home of the painter Vincent Van Gogh, whom she met as a little girl). At 85, she took up fencing lessons. At 100, she was still riding her bike. She said she ate more than 2 pounds of chocolate a week and only quit smoking at age 120 -- not for health reasons but because she could not see well enough to light her cigarettes. She credited her longevity to port wine, her sense of humor and a diet rich in olive oil. She died in August 1997. Manuel LITRAN/Paris Match via Getty Images
Yisrael Kristal, 113, lives in Haifa, Israel, but grew up in Poland and survived being sent to Auschwitz. He ran candy stores in Lodz and in Haifa but keeps a healthy and simple diet. He credited that, along with prayer, for his longevity. He celebrated his bar mitzvah, which had been delayed by World War I, when he turned 113. SHULA KOPERSHTOUK/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Emma Morano made it to 117. The Italian credited her long life with ending her marriage to an abusive spouse and eating a regular diet of raw eggs and cookies. She loved cookies so much, she hid them under her pillow so no one else would eat them. OLIVIER MORIN/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Ann Nixon Cooper became famous after President-elect Barack Obama used her story on election night 2008 to talk about the country's progress. "She was born just a generation past slavery," Obama said. "At a time when women's voices were silenced and their hopes dismissed, she lived to see them stand up and speak out and reach for the ballot." She died in 2009 at age 107. The secret to her long life, she said, was being cheerful: "I've always been a happy person, a giggling person, a wide-mouthed person." She also kept fit, dancing the electric slide until age 103. Tristan Smith/CNN
Edward Rondthaler was born June 9, 1905, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and he died in 2009 at the age of 104. He was a noted typographer, earning a national reputation for helping to usher in the age of photographic typesetting, according to The New York Times. Photographic typesetting was an easier way to print than hot-metal type. Rondthaler credited cold showers for his longevity. He died at his home in Cedar City, Utah. from youtube