|Birth:||16 August 1882|
Skårup, Skanderborg, Denmark
|Death:||25 April 1998|
San Rafael, California, USA
|Age:||115 years, 252 days|
Thomas Peter Thorvald Kristian Ferdinand Mortensen, known as an adult as Christian Mortensen (16 August 1882 – 25 April 1998), was an American supercentenarian. By the time he died, he had become the oldest man to ever live whose age is not disputed until 28 December 2012, when Jiroemon Kimura surpassed him. Mortensen was baptized in Fruering Church on 26 December 1882. Besides his baptismal record, other records include the 1890 and 1901 census enumerations in Denmark, and church confirmation in 1896.
In 1903, he immigrated to the United States, and lived in various areas and worked in various trades including as a milkman and in a can factory. In Denmark, Mortensen had worked as a farmhand and apprenticed as a tailor. He apparently was married though only briefly and never had children. Mortensen enjoyed an occasional cigar, and, very unusually for a supercentenarian, was known to show a bit of feistiness even in his final years. In August 1997, for instance, he expected to get the Guinness "oldest person" title, but on 14 August 1997, Guinness named Marie-Louise Meilleur of Canada, age 116, the "world's oldest person." Mortensen, angered, said they "just did that to spoil my birthday" (he turned 115 only two days after). Later, however, when he found out that fellow American Sarah Knauss was older too (116 as well), he said "c'est la vie." Mortensen could have been given the title of "oldest living man", however, but Guinness did not officially implement that category until mid-2000.
In 1973, he rode his tricycle to the Aldersly Retirement Community in San Rafael, boldly telling the staff that he was Danish, and that he was there to stay. Mortensen lived there for his final 25 years.
He is the oldest recognized male ever to die in the United States, and the oldest recognized person ever born in Denmark. At his death, Mortensen was the second-oldest recognized living person only behind Sarah Knauss, also from the United States. He was 115 years, 252 days old.
He was the last surviving person documented as born in 1882 and was the only Nordic person to have lived past their 113th birthday.
- ↑ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E07E7DB113EF930A35756C0A96E958260&sec=&spon=&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink New York Times, "Christian Mortensen, 115, Among Oldest," 1998-05-03. Accessed 2007-02-16
- ↑ Christian Mortensen's birth record (see image) shows his birthplace as the village of Skårup, Denmark, which was located in Sogn Fruering parish, Herred Hjelmslev Hundred, Skanderborg County, which is now part of Skanderborg municipality.
- ↑ [http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/1998/04/28/MN29699.DTL Torri Minton, San Francisco Chronicle, "One of World's Oldest Dies in His Sleep," page A-18, 1998-04-28. Accessed 2007-02-16
- ↑ John Wilmoth, Christian Mortensen, 1882-1998. Accessed 2007-02-16
- ↑ Karyn Hunt, San Francisco Examiner, "Guinness book checking after death of woman, 112, " page A-5, 1997-08-05
- Scandinavian obituaries: Dagbladet and Aftonbladet
- Aldersly Garden Retirement Community
- Fruering Church article at Danish Wikipedia
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