Too Young or Too Old?


Age is no barrier – with thanks to The Guinness Book of Records 2007

Artist At No 1 On UK Albun Chart

The oldest artist to top the UK chart with a newly recorded album is Tom Jones (UK, b. 7th June 1940), who was 60 whenReload (released 27th September 1999) went to the top of the charts in June 2000.

Woman To Reach The Summit Of Mount Everest

Tamae Watanabe (Japan, b. 21st November 1938) reached the top of Mount Everest at the age of 63 years 177 days at 9.55am on 16th May 2002, thereby becoming the oldest woman to do so.

Solo Parachute Jump

Milburn Hart (USA) made a sole parachute jump near Bremerton National Airport, Washington, USA, on 18th February 2005 at the age of 96 years 63 days.

The record of the oldest solo parachute jump (female) is held by Sylvia Brett (UK) who was 80 years 166 days old when she parachuted over Cranfield, Bedfordshire, UK, on 23rd August 1986.

Oldest Golf Competitor At A Major Event

Ed Alofs (Netherlands, b. 13th February 1902) competed in the 1997 Compaq World Putting Championships at Orlando, Florida, USA, from 29th November to 1st December 1997, at the age of 95 years 289 days.

Person To Complete A Marathon On Each Continent

Over a period of nearly 10 years, Margaret Hagerty (USA) completed a marathon on all seven continents.  Her attempt started on 5th November 1995, when she was aged 72 years, 225 days, and ended on 4th July 2004 by which time she was aged 81 years 101 days old.

Contestants To Take Part In A Beauty Pagent

To enter the Ms Senior America pageant (founded in 1971) you must be a woman who is 60 years of age or older – one who has reached the “Age of Elegance”.

Oldest Astronauts

The oldest astronaut is John Glenn Jr (USA), who was 77 years 103 days old when he was launched into space as part of the crew of STS-95 Discovery on 29th October 1998.  The mission lasted 11 days, returning to earth on 7th November 1998.

The oldest woman in space to date is Shannon Lucid (USA, b.14th January 1943), who was aged 53 years 67 days when she launched with the rest of the crew of the space shuttle mission STS 76 Atlantis on 22nd March 1996; the shuttle landed nine days later on 31st March 1996.  Shannon Lucid is also the first and only woman to have made five spaceflights.

Hockey Player

Julie Jones (UK b.13th July 1934) is the oldest regular county league hockey player in the world.  She played the complete 2004/05 season for the Yeovil & Sherbourne (UK) 3rd XI in the Channel 2A West Clubs’ Women’s Hockey League, in Dorset, UK aged 70.

Regular Newspaper Coulmnist

Jack Tucker (USA, b. 25th April 1914) has written a theatre column for the West County Weekly newspaper in Richnome California, USA since May 1994

Oldest Person To Sail Around The World (Solo And Non-Stop)

Minory Saito (Japan) was 71 years old when he completed a non-stop solo circumnavigation of the world in his 15m (50ft) yacht Shuten-doji II on 6th June 2005, becomming the oldest person to sail around the world.  His 233-day journey, which started and finished near the Japanese port of Misaki, covered around 50,000km (31,000 miles).

Oldest Person To Visit Both Poles

Major Will Lacy (UK, b.7th July 1907) went to the North Pole on 9th April 1990 at the age of 82 and the South Pole on 20th December 1991 at the age of 84.  On both trips he arrived and left by light aircraft.

Oldest Person To Climb A Peak Over 8,000m

The oldest person to have climbed one of the 14 peaks over 8,000m is Toshiko Uchida (Japan), who reached the summit of Cho Oyu – which, at 8,201m (26,906ft) is the world’s sixth tallest mountain – on 1st October 2002 at the age of 71.

Oldest Lawn Green Bowls Player

Leslie Brittan (B.17th March 1905) from Blackheath, London, UK has been a life-long bowler and was Club Presidnet of Woolwich and Plumstead Bowling Club in his centenary year.

Professional Chorus Line

The combined age of the 10 dancers from the touring chorus line of The Tivolo Lovelies, based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, was 746 years 147 days as of 12th October 2004.  The original Tivoli Theatre toured Australia, entertaining crowds with performances by jugglers, fire-eaters and dancers.

Professional Pianist

The Romanian pianist Cella Delavrancea (1887-1991) gave her last public recital, with six encores, aged 103 – the oldest ever professional piano player.

Active Commercial Pilot

Reginald Thomas Weaver (South Africa, b.12th October 1932) became a qualified commercial pilot in 1957.  As of March 2006, the 73 year old continues to fly and has completed over 6,500 hours of flight to date.

Hang-Glider Pilot

As of 2005, Neal Goss Jr (USA, b. 26th October 1920) was an active hang-glider pilot, flying several times each month.


Minnie Munro (Australia), aged 102, married Dudley Reid, 83 – a man who as some have pointed out, is technically young enough to be her son – on 31st May 1991.  The marriage took place at Point Clare, New South Wales, Australia.

Person To Receive A University Varsity Letter

Morton Cohn (USA) is the oldest person ever to receive a university varsity letter at the age of 78 years 8 days on 28th July 2001.  He received the accolade 52 years after excelling at playing golf for the University of Michigan USA.

Heart Surgery Patient

On 10th June 1993, Herbert Carrington (USA, b. 17th October 1998) received a Medtronic Hancock II Tissue valve, aged 94 years 129 days.  The valve was still workin on 15th June 2005 when he was aged 106 years 134 days.

Man To Fly Into Zero Gravity

On 10th April 2005, Ugo Sansonetti (Italy, b. 10th January 1919) flew on the “SpaceLand” zero gravity experimental flight – on board a Boeing 727 especially modified for the flight – at the age of 86 years 90 days.  The event took place in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA.

The oldest woman to fly in zero gravity is Dorothy Simpson (USA, b.27th November 1924), who participated in a zero-gravity flight on an Ilyushin IL-76 aircraft 79 years 237 days, on 22nd July 2004.  The flight, which took off from Zhukovsky Airbase, near Moscow, Russia, was organized by Space Adventures (USA).

Professional Inline Skater

Donna Vano (USA, b. 3rd June 1953) has been competing as a professional inline skater since 1991.  She also competes in skateboarding and snowboarding events.

Table Tennis Player

The oldest table tennis player is Arthur Sweeney (UK, b.1st December 1916), who is still playing for the Ravenshead Rebels in the Mansfield and District Table Tennus League, Nottinghamshire UK aged 89.

Youngest Person To Row The Atlantic

Oliver Hicks (UK, b. 3rd December 1981) crossed the Atlantic from west to east sole and unsupported between 27th May and 28th September 2005 aged 23 years 299 days.  He rowed from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey USA, to St Mary’s Isles of Scilly, UJ in 123 days 22 hr 8 minutes to become the first person to row from the USA to the UK sole and unsupported, and also the youngest person to row any ocean sole and unsupported.

Youngest Person To Climb Everest

Ming Kipa Snerpa (Nepal) reached the summit of Mount Everest on 22nd May 2003 at the age of 15.  She made the climb with her brother Mingma Gyula Sherpa and sister Lakpa Sherpa.  All three were climbing in support of a Romanian expedition.

Youngest Person To Visit Both Poles

Jonathan Silverman (USA, b.13th June 1990) reached the North Pole on 25th July 1999 and the South Pole on 10th January 2002, at the age of 11 years 211 days.  He reached the North Pole as part of a tourist expedition on the Russian icebreakerYamal, and the South Pole on another tourist expedition, landing at the pole by aircraft from Chile.

Hole In One Golfer

Christian Carpenter (USA b.6th June  1995) sscored a hole-in-one aged 4 years 195 days at the Mountain View Glof Club, Hickory, North Carolina, USA on 18th December 1999.

The youngest female golfer to score a hole-in-one is Katy Langley (UK) aged 9 years 136 days, at the par-3 first at Forest Pines Beeches golf course, Broughton Lincolnshire, UK on 9th August 2005.

Cave Diver

Tony DeRosa JR (aka “Cave Kid” USA) born in 1983, embarked upon his first cave dive at the Carwash Cenote, near Akumal, Mexico.  Tony was just 14 years old when he plunged into the dark depths of the Chamber of the Ancients, a cave that extends nearly 27.4 m (90 ft) under water.

Elected Pople

Pope Benedict IX (Italy) served three terms as Pope: 1034-44; April to May 1045; and 8th November 1047 to 17th July 1048.  It is believed that he was aged only 11 or 12 years when he began his first papal term.

Film Director

The youngest director of a professionally made feature-length film is Sydney Ling (Netherlands, b.20th November 1959) who directed Lex the Wonderdog (Netherlands 1973), a canine detection thriller, when he was 13 years old.

Licensed Stockbroker

The world’s youngest licensed stockbroker is Jason A Earle of Princeton, New Jersey USA.  He passed the stockbroker exam (Series 7) administered by the National Association of Securities Dealers on 25th October 1993 at the age of just 17 years206 days.

Person To Ski On Every Continent

Timothy Turner Hayes (USA) started skiing at the age of four at the ski resort in Stratton, Vermont USA.  Aged 11, he skied in Europe (Courmayer, Italy); at 12 he skied in Australia (Thredbo); and at 13 he skied in both Africa (Oukaimeden) and South America (Chile).  Lastly, at 14 he finished visiting all continents (excluding Antarctica) by skiing in Asia (Nagano, Japan).

Youngest Chess Grand Master

The youngest individual to qualify as a International Grand Master is Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine, b. 12th January 1990), who did so on 12th August 2002 aged 12 years 212 days.

Youngest Double Toppers

McFly (All UK Harry Judd b.23rd December 1985, Tom Fletcher b.17th July 1985, Danny Jones b.12th March 1986, and Dougie Poynter b.30th November 1987) are the youngest group to top the UK album charts twice.  Room on the 3rd Floordebuted at No 1 on 5th July 2004 and Wonderland reached No 1 on 10th September 2005.

Anmial Trainer

The youngest legally licenced animal trainer is Carl Ralph Scott Norman (UK aka Captain Carl), who was licenced to train animals under the Performing Animals (Regulation) Act, 1925 (UK) on 13th March 1970 aged just 1 year 355 days.


The youngest monarch in the world were a king of France and a king of Spain who became soverigns from the moment of their birth.  Jean (John) I of France was the posthumous son of Louis X and succeeded to the throne at birth on 14th November 1316, although he died five days later.  Alfonso XIII of Spain was the posthumous son of Alfonso XII and succeeded at birth on 17th Mar 1886.

Youngest Person To Visit The Wreck Of Titanic

On 4th August 2005, while an 8th grade honour student in Florida, USA, Sebastian Harris (USA b. 19th September 1991) dived to the wreck of RMS Titanic aboard the submarine Mir 1 at the age of 13 years 10 months and 15 days.  For his recordbreaking feat – commemorated by an engraved plaque plaved at the site of the wreck Sebastian has been made a full member of the Explorers Club.

Game Keeper

Robert Mandry (UK b. 1st January 1994 led his first professional shoot on his family’s estate – Holdshott Farm in Hampshire, UK – on 9th November 2005 at the age of 11 years 312 days.  Robert led three further shoots during the season (October 2005 – 1st February 2006), all following the retirement of his predescessor, Colin Parsons (UK).  Robert dedicates most weekends and after-school evenings to gamekeeping, including rearing birds, controlling vermin and preparing for the next season’s shoots.

Youngest Cliff Diver 

In December 2005 at the age of 12, Iris Alvarex (Mexico, b. 19th June 1993) became the youngest person to dive 18m (59 ft) off La Quebrada rock in Acapulco, Mexico.  A person diving from the top of the 30m high (100ft) cliff will hit the water at over 90 km/h (56 mph)!

Political Prisoner

Thaint Wunna Khin (Myanmar) a three year old girl, was one of 19 “anti-government rallyists” – including her mother arrested in 1999 in Pegu, Myanmar.

Radio Presenter

Eight-year-old Kimberley Perez (USA, b.20th February 1998) hosts a show every Saturday on KLAX 97.9 La Raza FM in Los Angeles, Clarifornia, USA.

Person Fitted With A Pair Of Bionic Arms

Kyle Barton (UK) was just eight years old when he was fitted with a second bionic arm by Dr Dipak Datta at the Northern General Hospital, Sheffield, UK in February 2002.  Kyle’s legs and arms were removed after he contracted meningitis in 1998.  His first arm was fitted in 2001.


With thanks to The Guinness Book of Records 2007