Gerontology Wiki
Thomas Emley Young
Birth: 1844
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, UK
Death: 1 September 1933
Hackney, London, England, UK
Age: 89 years, 0+ days
Country: United Kingdom UK

Thomas Emley Young (1844 - 1 September 1933) was the president of the Institute of Actuaries, London, from 1896 to 1898[1].


Thomas Emley Young (sometimes called T.E. Young) was born in 1844 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, United Kingdom.[2] Some book sources says that he was born in 1843[3] His birth record says that he was born between Jan-Mar 1844 although he might have born in December 1843 and he was registered in January 1844. He married Harriet Maria (nee Rayner) in 1871 in Islington, London. They had five children between 1874 and 1880: Edith, Arthur, Ernest, Sidney, and Hilda.

He wrote a book entitled "Centenarians" (published in 1899; revised version issued 1905). His work included the first supercentenarian case validation, that of Margaret Ann Neve (validated in 1898 at 106 but reached age 110 in 1902). Thomas Emley Young was also the first person to create a validated list of centenarians using the "age in years and days" ranking format, in 1898.

In 1909, Thomas Emley Young was featured in a 1909 New York Times article, where he was asked to predict the maximum human lifespan one hundred years later. His guestimate of "125" turned out to be much closer than that of Elie Metchnikoff who guesstimated "140". This shows that actuarial understanding of human longevity exceeded that of gerontologists when it came to understanding how long people live. Metchnikoff, who coined the term "gerontology" in 1903, still ascribed to notions later shown to be incorrect that humans could live decades longer through proper diet/exercise. The actuarial view better fits the idea that the maximum human lifespan is controlled by biology, as each mammalian species has a species-specific maximum human lifespan.

He died in Hackney, London, England, United Kingdom on 1 September 1933, at the age of 89.[4]