|Birth:||16 February 1871|
River Springs, St. Mary's County, Maryland, USA
|Death:||18 April 1982|
Washington, D.C, USA
|Age:||111 years, 61 days|
Zachariah Deminieu Blackistone Jr. (16 February 1871 – 18 April 1982) was a validated American supercentenarian. He was born as one of nine children on a farm in St. Mary's County, Maryland. In around 1890, he travelled to Washington DC by steamboat. He and his siblings had been encouraged by their mother to get government jobs there due to their father's death. Instead, he became a florist apprentice in 1891.
Blackistone started a company called Blackistone Florists in November 1898. Some of his customers were President Theodore Roosevelt and his daughter Alice. A big fan of golf, Blackistone entered the Sea Island Seniors Golf Tournament for the first time when he was 89 years old. He continued competing in this tournament for well over 10 years. Aside from that, he was also an active driver as a centenarian. When he was 100 years old, he renewed his drivers’ license for another 4 years by passing the test. He scored 95% on the written test, which comprises of 20 questions. For the road test, he just about met the minimum score criteria of 75. His weak points were forgetting to signal when changing lanes. His strong points were parking lots and not being nervous when taking the test.
It was mentioned that Blackistone was 5'8" tall at the age of 100. He started every morning by making his own breakfast and then running 200 yards outside his apartment house. In an interview when he was 103, he claimed that his occupation as a florist might've contributed to his longevity due to the different tasks he's faced; thus it's a versatile job. His other secrets to his long life was a "clean conscience" and faith in God. All three of his children were alive at the time. He used to take a nap twice a day, 15 minutes each.
At the age of 109, he resided in a nursing home. He still smoked and drank at this high age (although this contradicts another article saying that he quit smoking in the 1920s to protect his health) and could eat anything. The only medicine he used to take was the flower digitalis. When asked what the 21st century would be like, compared to the 20th, he replied "the same".
Blackistone died on 18 April 1982 at the age of 111 years, 61 days. He was the fifth-oldest known living person in the world at the time of his death. Nellie Spencer, Emma Wilson, Mary Phil Cota and Mathew Beard were older. He was also the second-oldest living man in the world, behind Beard.