The last man from the 19th century, Jiroemon Kimura, is also the oldest person alive today. I hate to tell you, but he's only 116, so if you're clinging to the notion that human beings can make it to 120, the evidence in support of that belief is awfully weak.
Mr Kimura retired in 1962 aged 65, after working for 45 years in the Japanese post office. He now lives in Kyō¯tango, Kyoto Prefecture, with his eldest son's widow, 83, and his grandson's widow, 59, and attributes his long life to eating small portions of food, and admits to spending most of his time ''in bed.''ADDED: "How long do you want to live?"
Over the past three years I have posed this query to nearly 30,000 people at the start of talks and lectures on future trends in bioscience, taking an informal poll as a show of hands. To make it easier to tabulate responses I provided four possible answers: 80 years, currently the average life span in the West; 120 years, close to the maximum anyone has lived; 150 years, which would require a biotech breakthrough; and forever, which rejects the idea that life span has to have any limit at all....AND: Here's Wikipedia's "List of the verified oldest people." There's exactly one person who lived to be 120 (and died at 122). There's one more who made it to 119 and then 2 who made it to 117. That's it.
The results: some 60 percent opted for a life span of 80 years. Another 30 percent chose 120 years, and almost 10 percent chose 150 years. Less than 1 percent embraced the idea that people might avoid death altogether.