Gerontology Wiki
Manuel Benavente Sanhueza
Manuel Benavente Sanhueza
Benavente Sanhueza on his 110th birthday in 2019.
Birth: 25 September 1909
Concepcion, Bio Bio Region, Chile
Death: 21 March 2021
San Bernardo, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Age: 111 years, 177 days
Country: ChileCHL

Manuel Jose Benavente Sanhueza (25 September 1909 – 21 March 2021) was a Chilean supercentenarian whose age is currently unvalidated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG). He was the oldest verifiable male Chilean supercentenarian.


Benavente Sanhueza was born in Concepcion, Bio Bio Region, Chile, on 25 September 1909. His parents were Manuel Jose Benavente Benavente Sr. (born 1878) and Celia Sanhueza Saavedra. Several notable ancestors on his paternal side included Diego Jose Benavente (1790–1867), who was a former Senate President and Minister of Finance of Chile, and Jose Maria Benavente (1785–1833), Minister of War and Navy of the Republic of Chile during the Chilean War of Independence against Spain. He had at least 8 siblings, including Rafael (1908–1993), Hernan, Josefa and Wenceslao. At the age of 15, he started working at the “Juzgado De Letras De Coronel” courtroom in Coronel, Bio Bio, after which he served for 30 years at the “Casa de Moneda”, where he became deputy director. During his life, he worked on many positions, including the first official of the Arauco Court of First Instance - dealing with civil and criminal cases, an assistant official of the Fiscal Treasury of San Vicente de Tagua Tagua, the Honorary president of the "Youth for Understanding Chile" - an entity that promotes youth exchange between the United States and Chile and the first administrator of commercial premises in the center of San Bernardo (which includes "Santa Javiera" bakery, shops, restaurants, a hairdresser, watch shop, bookstore, exchange houses and more). Under his administration, the shopping mall now has more than 40 stores.

Benavente Sanhueza married Sara Salas Iriarte and they had 2 daughters: Pilar and Maria Elena. He is a notable person in his community, and is a recognized member of his rotary of San Bernardo. He was a main contributor of the San Bernardo rotary book for the years 1932 to 1983.

In 2008, at the age of 99, he obtained the Diego Portales medal, the highest award given by the Confederation of Retail Trade and Tourism of Chile (Spanish: "La Confederación del Comercio Detallista y Turismo de Chile"). He was also recognized as an "illustrious son" of his city.

There was also a history of longevity in his family: his sister Mariana (1914–2020) lived to be 105 years, his sister Cella (born 1921) is still alive at the age of 100 years, his sister Josefa (1911–c.2005) lived to be circa 94 years, his sister Berta (born 1927) is still alive at the age of 93 years and his sister Adriana (born 1929) is still alive at the age of 91 years.

His sister Adriana was married with Julio Canessa Robert (1925–2015).

Benavente Sanhueza died in San Bernardo, Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile on 21 March 2021 at the age of 111 years, 177 days.