Gerontology Wiki
William Swensson
William Swensson
William Swensson (centre) with daughter Maureen and son George.
Birth: 21 April 1885
Wellington, New Zealand
Death: 19 December 1993
Wellington, New Zealand
Age: 108 years, 242 days
Country: New ZealandNZL

William Swensson (21 April 1885 – 19 December 1993) was a New Zealand centenarian who was the oldest living person from New Zealand at time of death. He is the oldest known man ever born in New Zealand.


William Swensson was born in Wellington, New Zealand on 21 April 1885. Swensson began work as a message boy with the Government printing works aged 13. Swensson was made redundant three decades later during the Depression. Swensson had four children with his wife of 70 years, Margaret, and credited his marriage for his long life.

Swensson spent his later years being cared for at home by his son George and daughter Maureen. The Prime Minister David Lange attended Swensson's 100th birthday in 1985.

He became the oldest living man in New Zealand upon the death of Arthur Bates on 19 January 1992. He became the oldest living person in New Zealand upon the death of Jean Tillie on 23 October 1993.

William Swensson died in Wellington, New Zealand on 19 December 1993 at the age of 108 years, 242 days.


New Zealand's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

Christopher Murray • Alexander Hughes • Maxwell Wallenstein • Wesley Firth • Frederick Fox • David Orange • Thomas SalmonAllan WatkinsEdward Leigh • Arthur Bates • William Swensson • Charles Campbell • Hubert HardenWilliam Hayes • James Hill • Lawrence Blyth • Bright Williams • Cecil HamiltonErnest Ryland • Trevor Henry • Harold Clark • Dudley Sainsbury • Taiwung Yu Hoi • Harry Andrews • Ian ChirnsideBob EdwardsHoward BussRonald HermannsBill MitchellLaurence Reynolds

New Zealand's Oldest Living Person Titleholders (VE)

Lavinia BaskervilleHelen DixonMary LuplauFlora BartonAlexander HughesAgnes WilsonLillian BlythEthel PearsonMary CartwrightCaroline Turner-WilliamsParewahawaha Ranginui LeonardFlorence SedcoleEdith RobisonJessie LittleMary BromleyLillian HickmottArthur Bates • Ethel Keen • Jean TillieWilliam Swensson • Charles Campbell • Mary DoyleWilliam Buttler Hayes • Bertha Cole • Laura White • Ethel Booth • Mabel WachnerFlorence Finch • Irene MorganRuby Billings • Inez Newton • Doris Mackintosh • Lena Ray • Maudie Wilson • Peg Griffin • Olive Oldfield • Madeline AndersonLinda WigginsMabel JenkinsLola de la HayeMoy Kim NgNina BrownRonald HermannsJoan Brennan