Super-Centenarians - Walter Breuning
We started this segment with a clip from Walter Breuning. He's turning 114 today. And that makes him the oldest known man in the world. He's a retired railroader, a widower for 53 years and for the last 30 years he's been living at a retirement home in Great Falls, Montana. His mind is sharp. He still walks to the dining room for his meals. He takes no prescription medication. He only stopped smoking in 1999, at the age of 103. Montana Public Radio's Emilie Ritter paid him a visit in the days leading up to his 114th birthday.
Super-Centenarians - Stephen Coles
Walter Breuning is part of an elite demographic group known as "Super-Centenarians" ... people who have lived to be 110 or older. There are only 82 verified Super-Centenarians in the world. This morning, as part of Shift, our project on the demographic changes that are sweeping Canada and the world, we hear from 'someone who thinks those 82 people could be very important.
Stephen Coles is a physician and a stem-cell researcher at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He also heads up the Gerontology Research Group and the Supercentenarian Research Foundation. He was in Los Angeles.
Super-Centenarians - Nicholas King
But not everyone agrees there's value in studying the genes of Super-Centenarians. Nicholas King is a professor of Social Studies in Medicine at McGill University. He was in Montreal.
Super-Centenarians - Oldest Person
Before we go ... We need your help. A few minutes ago, Doctor Stephen Coles explained his research into Super-Centenarians. His group tracks people over the age of 110, around the world. But it doesn't know who the oldest person in Canada is. In fact, Dr. Coles doesn't know if there are any Canadian Super-Centenarians. So, if you know of anyone over the age of 110, please let us know. Contact us through our website.
Last Word - Walter Breuning
We gave the last word to Walter Breuning, our 114-year-old birthday boy in conversation with freelance journalist Emilie Ritter... Walter is the 4th oldest person in the world and the oldest known man. Happy Birthday Walter.