Gerontology Wiki
Fred Hale
Fred Hale
Fred Hale at the age of 113
Birth: 1 December 1890
New Sharon, Maine, USA
Death: 19 November 2004
Syracuse, New York, USA
Age: 113 years, 354 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Frederick Harold Hale, Sr (1 December 1890 – 19 November 2004)[1] was a validated American supercentenarian, who was, at the time of his death aged 113 years, 354 days, the oldest man in the world after the death of the 114-year-old Spaniard Joan Riudavets, and the oldest living American male following the death of the 113-year-old John McMorran. He remains the oldest person ever from Maine and one of the ten oldest men ever.


Fred Hale was born in New Sharon, Maine, on December 1, 1890. His parents, Fred and Nettie, both lived to be 91. In 1910, he married Flora Mooers and later in the same year they had their first child. Hale spent his career as a railroad postal worker and a beekeeper.[2] In 1979, after 69 years of marriage, Flora died, leaving Hale to live independently for another 25 years.[3]

When Hale was 95, he visited his grandson in Japan. On their return trip, he stopped at Hawaii, where he surfed for the first time in his life. At 100, he visited Europe with his eldest son Norman and his daughter-in-law in order to visit the locations of his son's military service during World War II. Until the age of 103 he shoveled the snow off of his own roof, and he drove a car until the age of 108.[4] At 109 he left Maine for Liverpool, New York to stay with his youngest son, Fred Hale Jr. He later relocated to nearby Baldwinsville. After cataract surgeries at ages 109 and 110, he still had unusually good vision for a supercentenarian and continued to play cards until his death.[citation needed] Shortly before his death, Hale and his son moved to Jamesville, New York, where he received media attention for being the world's oldest Boston Red Sox fan when the team won the 2004 World Series, its first World Series since 1918.[5]


Hale outlived his son Robert, who died in 1918 during the influenza epidemic. He also outlived his daughters Muriel and Carrie. Norman died one month after Fred on December 30, 2004, at the age of 84, and was survived by his brother Fred Hale Jr., who died on January 23, 2019 at the age of 97.

At the time of his death, Hale had nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and eleven great-great-grandchildren.[6]


The Guinness World Records recognized Hale as the oldest licensed driver at 108 years old. According to Fred Hale III, he gave up driving because he found slow drivers annoying, and not due to his age. Amongst his honors and records, Hale was the oldest retired railway postal worker and the oldest registered beekeeper. He often related the story of his last successful deer hunt at the age of 100 in Missouri.

Hale credited his longevity and lack of arthritis to eating bee pollen and honey every day, along with the occasional nip of whiskey.


Twelve days before his 114th birthday, Hale died in a nursing home in Syracuse, New York from complications of pneumonia. He was buried in Farmington, Maine. After his death, Emiliano Mercado Del Toro took over as the world's oldest man.[5]


World's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (V • TE)

Sylvester Melvin • Joseph Saint-Amour • William Fullingim • John Mosley Turner
Friedrich Wedeking • Frederick Butterfield • Jean Teillet • Charlie Nelson • Charlie Phillips • Mathew Beard • Joe Thomas • Herman Smith-Johannsen • Alphaeus Philemon Cole • John Evans • Henri Perignon • James Wiggins • Frederick Frazier • Josep Armengol-Jover • Christian Mortensen • Johnson Parks • Walter Richardson • Denzo Ishizaki • Antonio Urrea-Hernandez • John Painter • Antonio Todde • Yukichi Chuganji • Joan Riudavets-Moll • Fred Hale • Emiliano Mercado del Toro • Tomoji Tanabe • Henry Allingham • Walter Breuning • Jiroemon Kimura • Salustiano Sanchez • Arturo Licata • Alexander Imich • Sakari Momoi • Yasutaro Koide • Israel Kristal • Francisco Nunez Olivera • Masazo NonakaChitetsu WatanabeBob WeightonEmilio Flores MarquezSaturnino de la Fuente GarciaJuan Vicente Perez Mora

United States' Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

Charlie Nelson • Charlie Phillips • Mathew Beard • Joe Thomas • Alphaeus Philemon Cole • Alton Gilbert • Oscar DuboisJames Wiggins • Frederick Frazier • Christian Mortensen • Johnson Parks • Walter Richardson • John Painter • John McMorran • Fred Hale • Earl Brush • Moses Hardy • Thomas Nelson • Antonio Pierro • George Francis • Walter Breuning • Shelby Harris • Salustiano Sanchez • Alexander Imich • Conrad Johnson • Wash Wesley • Felix Simoneaux • Frank Levingston • Clarence Matthews • Richard Overton • Henry Tseng • CP Crawford • Irving Piken • Lawrence Brooks • Ezra Hill

7. World's oldest man dies aged 113 BBC News. 20 November 2004