Our genes harbor many secrets to a long and healthy life. Here are photographies of the American photographer Fritz Hoffmann for the National Geographaphic that present you some people who have discovered the secred of longevity.
RUBY TIMMS, 85
The oldest of eight, Timms grew up “beyond poor” on a farm in Longview, Texas, where she helped her widowed mother cook and care for her brothers and sisters. Now widowed herself, Timms still lives in the San Diego house that she and her husband moved to in 1965. She relaxes under the patio lattice adjacent to the rose garden, where she likes to work first thing every day.
GIUSEPPE ROMEO, 101
Romeo lives in San Fili, Italy. He makes his own pasta and knows how to massage away his own aches and pains—skills he perfected as a prisoner of war after he was captured by the British during World War II. The centenarian also enjoys whittling.
IRVING KAHN, 106
Irving Kahn began his career in finance in 1928. He is still chairman of the New York City investment advisory and brokerage firm that bears the family name. Working five hours a day, he has been called the world’s oldest active investment professional.
LILLY PORT, 99
“I could have been put away in a concentration camp, and nobody would have known the difference,” says Port, who fled her native Vienna after the Nazis took over. The retired consumer advocate lives in New York but loves to travel, most recently to Machu Picchu.
RAE KLINE, 83
“A perpetual motion machine” is how Kline, of Solana Beach, California, describes herself. An early advocate of yoga in the U.S., she demonstrates a knees-to-ears pose. Her daily exercise includes a mile swim, an hour of biking, and a four-mile beach walk.
MARION STEHURA, 103
Growing up in Lorain, Ohio, Stehura wanted to “do the things the boys do,” like play ball and “be rough.” Today, in Hemet, California, she gets a kick out of whistling loud and long in big-box stores when she shops with son John; it’s the way she used to call her sons home when they were young. Riding in an electric cart provided by the store, she brags, “My whistle could blow this place to pieces.”
SADIE MINTZ, 105
As a girl, Mintz helped her parents in the store they ran from their Seattle home. As an adult, she owned a tiny jewelry shop in Hollywood, paying rent to movie star Mary Pickford for a time and once renting earrings to Marilyn Monroe for a Life magazine photo shoot. At 104, Mintz self-published a short story. She’s decked out to celebrate the Jewish New Year at the Santa Monica home of one of her three granddaughters.
SALVATORE CARUSO, 106
Caruso walks on his own, does not need glasses, recites Dante aloud, and enjoys singing with his grandsons. Some of his earliest memories are of the olive groves that fill the family land in Molochio, Italy. Although techniques have changed—nets now catch the olives he used to gather by hand—he has participated in the harvest and helped produce olive oil throughout his life.