|Birth:||19 February 1908|
Jiangsu, Qing dynasty (now China)
111 years, 2 days
Qin Hanzhang claims to have been born in Wuxi, Jiangsu, Qing dynasty (now China) on 19 February 1908. He was the youngest child in his family. His father, Qinru Yu (1867–1925), was a famous scholar who passed the "Imperial examination" at the age of 18. His mother, Su Shi (1868–1928) and father didn't had a lot of money, only enough for food and clothing. Qin had been adopted to his uncle Yang Tongguan at the age of 3 and lived with them until his death. Qin was 9 years old at that time. He returned to his hometown and lived with his elder brother and his family. When Qin was 13 years old, he studied traditional Chinese medicine with his eldest brother Qin Liujiang (1892–1960).
First of all, he went to his father's private school where he studied classics as "Three Character Classic", "Thousand Character Classic" and practiced calligraphy daily. However, Qin was not satisfied with reading of these "old classics". In 1924, Qin first encountered modern subjects such as English and mathematics. In 1925, Qin was admitted to Jiangsu University in Wuxi. After joining the school, Qin got acquired dysentery. Chinese and Western medicine practitioners haven't cured him, and therefore he stayed at home.
In 1931, he graduated from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University and later went to Belgium, France and Germany to study abroad. He studied at Gembloux Agro Bio Tech University in Belgium, graduated in 1935 and received a doctoral candidate in engineering. From 1935 to 1936, he studied at Brussels University. In 1936, he entered the Institute of Chemistry and Fermentation at the University of Berlin.
In September 1936, Qin returned to China and started teaching in Jiangsu Institute of Education, in Fudan University in 1938, in Sichuan Provincial Educational College from 1939 to 1944 and in National Central University from 1944 to 1949.
In 1950, Premier Zhou Enlai appointed Qin as a counselor of the Ministry of Food Industry and the Ministry of Light Industry. In 1960, the Food Industry Research Institute of the Ministry of Light Industry and the Fermentation Industry Research Institute of the Ministry of Light Industry merged to establish the Institute of Food Fermentation Industry of the Ministry of Light Industry. Qin was appointed as the first director.
In 1954, he was invited to participate in the "Food Packaging Industry Conference" in Czechoslovakia. In the early years of the "Cultural Revolution", Qin's first wife, Yang Wenwei, committed suicide. One day, a group of “rebels” broke into Qin’s home and robbed him. In 1968, his second daughter was assigned to the Great Northern Wilderness team. The eldest daughter went to Jiaozuo, Henan after she graduated from Peking University. In 1975, he met Suo Ying, who later became his second wife.
Qin retired at the age of 82. His second wife, Suo Ying, passed away on 8 January 2016 at the age of 93. Qin celebrated his 110th birthday on 19 February 2018. He currently lives with his daughter-in-law and grandson in Wu Dian Lu, Daxing District, Beijing at the age of 111 years, 2 days.