|Birth:||19 August 1877|
Swansea, Wales, UK
|Death:||10 June 1990|
Swansea, Wales, UK
|Age:||112 years, 295 days|
John Evans (19 August 1877 – 10 June 1990) of Fforestfach, Swansea, was the longest-lived man from the United Kingdom whose date of birth could be authenticated; he held this record from 27 May 1989 until 29 March 2009, when Henry Allingham broke it. Evans was also the oldest recognized living man at the time of his death and is the oldest ever Welsh-born person.
Evans had been a Welsh coal miner, and became the oldest man in the United Kingdom ever when he broke the record of England's John Mosely Turner (1856–1968). In March 1986, at the age of 108, Evans was the oldest person to be fitted with a pacemaker, from which he made a quick recovery. Evans repeatedly attributed his longevity to abstinence from smoking, drinking and swearing. a On his 110th birthday, he visited London for the first time in his life. According to a news item published on his death:
- The lively, talkative character who thoroughly enjoyed all the publicity surrounding each birthday milestone, passed away in his sleep at his cottage in Fforest-fach, West Glamorgan, said his daughter-in-law Mrs Betty Evans. "A big gap has been left in our lives. The longer John was with us, the harder it was going to be to say goodbye," she added. "Everyone will always have such happy memories of him. He brightened up people's lives, young and old. "John went very peacefully, in his chair beside his bed. He had been a little unwell for a few days." Mr Evans was born in 1877, the year Queen Victoria was proclaimed Empress of India. He delighted in talking of his memories of Gladstone, the Boer War and Lloyd George. He made medical history when at 108 he became the oldest person to be fitted with a heart pacemaker. Doctors at Cardiff's University Hospital were astounded when he was able to return home just three days later. "It's given me a new lease of life – and I don't have to go back to have new batteries put in for another 10 years" he joked at the time.
The article went on:
- Mr Evans went down the mines when he was 13 and was forced to retire at 73 because of National Coal Board rules at the time. He was a founding member of the National Union of Mineworkers in south Wales. Many of his family of three sons and a daughter, six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren, live locally and were regular visitors to his cottage. His daily routine always started with his favourite breakfast – a bowl of bran and a little honey in boiled water.
The British male longevity record set by Evans, who died at 112 years and 295 days old, was surpassed by Henry Allingham on 29 March 2009. Evans is recognised as the world's oldest man from 25 November 1988, the date of death of Alphaeus Philemon Cole, until Evans' death. Guinness had recognised Evans as the "world's oldest man" in 1989, but let the title lapse after his death, only to bring it back in 2000.
- "Five score and 12". The Guardian. 11 June 1990. p.39.
- "World's oldest man dies aged 112". The Guardian. 11 June 1990. p.2.
- "Man Believed World's Oldest, 112, Said Abstinence Led To Longevity". The Seattle Times. 11 June 1990.
- "111-year-old's secrets: Good diet, no swearing" Deseret News, 20 August 1988
- Validated supercentenarians who lived and/or died in the UK Gerontology Research Group
- World's oldest man since 1973 Gerontology Research Group
- John Evans, 112; Guinness Book Listed Him as World's Oldest Man Los Angeles Times, 11 June 1990
|United Kingdom's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (V • E)|
George Stanforth • John Mosley Turner • John Leng • Frederick Butterfield • James Harrow • Ernest Oxley • Harry Durrant • Arthur Emanuel • James Sellers • Walter Sandford • George Simms • Henry Norman • John Orton • Alfred Grant • John Evans • Samuel Crabbe • Joseph Randle • Jesse Yewdall • William Proctor • David Davies • Vinson Gulliver • David Henderson • Harry Halford • William Lee • Frederick Moore • Harry Laverick • Jerzy Pajaczkowski-Dydynski • Henry Allingham • Harry Patch • Stanley Lucas • Edward Anderson • Reg Dean • Ralph Tarrant • Harold Bracher • Frank Simes • John Mansfield • Alf Smith • Bob Weighton • Harry Fransman • John Tinniswood