Maybe the fountain of youth is a myth, but that doesn’t mean all hopes of a long life are out the window. Your genetics play a part in how long you live, but there’s more to the secret of longevity. Find out what people living well in their 90s and beyond have to say about living a long and happy life.
"You just keep doing what you love to do. That's all. It's very simple. Anybody who has a great passion and can't live without it, I think that helps you live. I think it keeps you well and happy and busy. It certainly has kept me busy."
-Randolph Hokanson, 101, American pianist and professor
“There’s no spare time, so I’m active all the time. I think that forces you to stay well. To be 90 and still be working — that’s what I wouldn’t have expected. I’m the luckiest broad on two feet.”
-Betty White, 95, American actress
“My cardiologist says, ‘Frank, I’d like to have what you have.’ I said, ‘If I knew what it was, I’d patent it!’ Because I’ve had all sorts of things — gall bladder removal, open heart surgery, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, and now a defibrillator. What the hell am I doing here? I don’t know what it is. I can’t honestly say. It’s just I don’t have any stresses in life that work me up. I live a very tranquil life. The only time I really swear is when I’m in the car. I still drive, but other people, oh, the way they drive.”
-Frank Handlen, 100, American painter
"I was lucky enough to find my soul mate 63 years ago, and I believe our wonderful marriage and our nightly 'golden hour' chats have helped me survive all things."
-Kirk Douglas, 100, American actor, producer, director, author
“A key to a happy life is perhaps living long enough to look back on things that have happened because anticipating things that I'm going to do or want to do is always clouded with a lot of anxiety.”
-Henry Morgenthau III, 100, American author and TV producer
“I think the word that I might apply here is 'attitude.' You must be active, you must be positive, even if things don't go the way you want them to. I think if you allow yourself to mope and feel sorry for yourself, it can take years off your life.”
Norman Lloyd, 102, American actor, director, and producer
"The whole secret of life is moderation — a little bit of everything."
-Jessie Lichauco, 105, Cuban philanthropist
“My mantra is to wake up the morning and say, ‘This is going to be the best day of my life.’ That way I can face anything. My mantra for life is, ‘There is nothing that you cannot do.’”
-Tao Porchon-Lynch, 98, yoga master and author
“I wake up every day and I’m thankful … I’ve arrived here, four arms and legs, eyes still working, ears still working. That there is a reason to be cheerful if one thinks about it. As for the infirmities, that’s part of the game. You’ve got to pay, and what you pay on the way out depends on how far you go, I guess, to see how long the coupon will last.”
-Herman Wouk, 101, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer
“People often ask me [the secret to my longevity] and I always answer the same thing: love life. Live a simple life, play with your kids, enjoy the things you have, spend time with good loyal friends.”
-David Rockefeller, 101, American businessman and philanthropist
“I really don’t have a secret. I loved to run and walk. I practiced yoga for the breathing training long before it was fashionable. I used to adore waking up at 5:30 a.m. and run to the Original Farmer’s Market for a cup of coffee at Charlie’s Coffee stand and then run home.”
-Patricia Morison, 101, American actress and singer
“It’s wonderful to live long. Until one is 60 years old, it is easy to work for one’s family and to achieve one’s goals. But in our later years, we should strive to contribute to society. Since the age of 65, I have worked as a volunteer. I still put in 18 hours seven days a week and love every minute of it.”
-Dr. Shigeaki Hinohara, 105, Japanese doctor, educator, and author