Two Tragic Stories of Death From Overwork

Moritz Erhardt, a 21-year-old intern at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in London, died recently as he neared the end of a seven-week summer internship. He'd been working a grueling schedule in an investment bank division that was "notorious for the hours workers are expected to clock in," writes Ruth Margalit of The New Yorker. Friends said Erhardt had been keeping enormously long hours -- working all the way to 6 a.m. three days in a row shortly before he collapsed in his shower -- leading to speculation that the ... read more

Remember Friedrich Franz III No More

Less than two weeks after she became the world's oldest person, Dina Manfredini died Monday at the age of 115 years and 257 days. Manfredini had been living at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, Iowa. Born in Pievepelago, Italy, on April 4, 1897, Manfredini became the oldest Italian and oldest immigrant who ever lived. She emigrated from Italy to Des Moines, Iowa, in 1920 with her husband Riccardo and raised four children, working at an ammunition factory during World War II and cleaning houses until ... read more

Last Note for Brahms and the Year 1896

The world's oldest person, Besse Cooper, died Tuesday at a nursing home in Monroe, Ga. "She got up this morning, had a big old breakfast and got her hair fixed," said her son Sidney, 77. Cooper lived 116 years and 100 days, which made her the eighth oldest person ever among documented supercentenarians. She was a schoolteacher until 1929, when she left to start a family. All four of her children survive her. Twenty four years old when women got the right to vote in 1920, Cooper only missed two presidential ... read more

World's Oldest Man: 'Life is Short'

Walter Breuning, the world's oldest man at 113 years, gave a pretty amazing birthday speech Monday at the Montana retirement home where he lives: Life begins each morning whether we have succeeded or failed or just muddled along. Life is a school to learn, not to unlearn. Life is the creation by God and if you would know God, be not a solver of riddles. Look about you and you shall see him playing with your children. Look into the air and you shall see him walking in the clouds, out-stretching his arms in the ... read more

World's Oldest Person Dies, Takes 1894 With Her

Gertude Baines died yesterday at the age of 115 years and 148 days. She was the world's oldest person and the 16th oldest ever, according to a cool table prepared by longevity geeks on Wikipedia. Baines, born April 6, 1894, was the grandchild of slaves who worked as a maid at Ohio State University dorms until her retirement to a Los Angeles nursing home a decade ago. She was a non-drinker and non-smoker who once told a reporter, "I did not have a lot of fun as an adult but I enjoyed going to church every Sunday." ... read more

No One Left Who Recalls Life Before Football

The world's oldest living person, Kama Chinen of Okinawa, Japan, died Sunday, just a week before her 115th birthday. Her family did not release any details, but Chinen had been spending her final years at a nursing home in Nanjo. She lived to be 114 years and 357 days old. Japan has a high percentage of the world's supercentenarians, people who've lived for over 100 years, and many of them are from Okinawa like Chinen. A Japanese government report in September tallied more than 40,000 Japanese over the century ... read more