Gerontology Wiki
Sylvester Melvin
Sylvester Melvin
Sylvester Melvin (aged 106) in 11 July 1958.
Birth: 29 November 1851
Rubicon Township, Greene County, Illinois, USA
Death: 12 March 1962
Illinois, USA
Age: 110 years, 103 days
Country: United StatesUSA

Sylvester Melvin (29 November 1851 – 12 March 1962) was a validated American supercentenarian.


He was born in a farm in Rubicon Township, Greene County, Illinois, to parents Thomas and Elizabeth Melvin. He graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University. In 1880, he married Addie Strickland. The couple had four children in total. One of them, Leon, died in 1920. In 1900, he started working as a secretary of the Greene County Mutual Fire Insurance Company. At the age of 107, he was still working for the same company. He also had a cattle firm called ”Sylvester Melvin and Sons”.

As a centenarian, he was capable of raking leaves in his garden. He could remember the American Civil War that began in 1861. His wife Addie died in 1953/1954. On his 109th birthday in 1960, the mayor declared it the ”Sylvester Melvin Day”. Businesses were closed for half an hour to his honour. He was reported to have poor eyesight. He lived with one of his daughers. His secret to longevity was ”just keep from dying”. On the occasion of his 110th birthday in 1961, he was hospitalized for a minor intestinal disorder.

Melvin died in Illinois, United States on 12 March 1962, at the age of 110 years, 103 days.


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