Gerontology Wiki
Herbert Engel
Herbert Engel
Herbert Engel at the age of 110.
Birth: 18 February 1907
Borgardt, Russian Empire (now Saratov Oblast, Russia)
Death: 17 February 2018
Berrien Springs, Michigan, USA
Age: 110 years, 364 days
Country: RussiaRUSUnited StatesUSA

Herbert Engel (18 February 1907 – 17 February 2018), sometimes spelt Engle, was a Russian-American supercentenarian whose claim is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). At the time of his death, he was the fourth-oldest known man in the United States, behind Richard Overton, Joe Willie Hollins and George Feldman.


Engel was born in what was then Borgardt, Russian Empire, on 18 February 1907. His parents were Solomon and Mary (née Healt) Engel. His birthplace is now located in Saratov Oblast, Russia. In March 1923, at the age of 16, he emigrated to the USA with his family.

Soon after arriving in America, Engel got a job on the production line at Western Electric assembling switchboards. He also played in the local church's Brotherhood Band which gave him an opportunity to travel to Brotherhood conferences in Illinois and other neighbouring states. At one of those conferences in Michigan, he met his future wife, Amelia Falk (1907–1993).

Herbert and Amelia were married on 8 September 1929 in Port Huron, Michigan. The couple had six children together: Helen, Herb, Esther, Edna, Jannette, and Richard. In 1929, Herbert started working for the 1900 Company (which eventually became Whirlpool Corp). He became a toolmaker and worked at the company for over 42 years, eventually retiring in 1972.

Despite being in America for nearly a decade, it wasn't until 22 September 1932 that Engel finally became an official U.S. citizen. He was 25 years old at the time. He has been a member of the Arden Methodist Church and the American Historical Society of Germans From Russia. After he retired from working, he made an elaborate model of a Volga German threshing system that he exhibited in Portland, Oregon, and which is now on display at the Priscilla U. Byrns Heritage Center in St. Joseph, Oregon. He has also made other items such as grandfather clocks and a church display table.

At the age of 105, he had eight grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. At the time, he was still living in the farmhouse that his parents bought in the mid-1920s. He kept himself busy by tending to his garden and doing woodwork.

Engel died in Berrien Springs, Michigan, on 17 February 2018 - one day before his 111th birthday.