He is 106, she is 105, and they have been married for one month shy of 80 years. That's a feat not many can accomplish, one that has been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on November 20, 2019. It has since been updated.
In an age where people seem to fall in and out of love so easily, it can be hard to find couples who have surpassed many obstacles that life throws at them, truly grew old together and stayed in love for decades. Which is why this particular Texan couple, John Henderson and Charlotte Henderson are proof that true and long-lasting love still does exist. And the number of years they have been married will stun you.
With a combined age of 211 years, John and Charlotte will be celebrating their 80th wedding anniversary on December 15, 2019, according to Inside Edition. And that is the reason that the Guinness World Records have dubbed the 106-soon-to-be 107-year-old husband and 105-year-old wife, the oldest living couple in the world as of now.
John and Charlotte first laid eyes on each other while they were both students at the University of Texas in 1934 where John had been playing football at the university for the Longhorns while his future wife was studying to be a teacher, according to People. Almost 85 years later and the varsity player still remembers the first time he noticed Charlotte in a lecture hall. "Charlotte looked over her shoulder and smiled and I knew I wanted to take her on a date," he told Today. "She was anxious for me to ask her!”
Five years later in 1939, the two had tied the knot, ready to take on the world together as a couple. They married during the Great Depression, where their hotel room for their honeymoon was only $7, reported WGNO. In fact, John is also the oldest living former UT football player and for the last 84 years, he's held a tradition of attending at least one Longhorn football game each year.
Meet the oldest living married couple in the world — John & Charlotte Henderson! The #Austin couple has been married nearly 80 yrs. Lots of wisdom to share... story coming soon.— Kalyn Norwood (@KalynNorwood) November 12, 2019
Mrs Henderson & I also have the same birthday (Nov. 8), only difference she was born in 1914 😊 pic.twitter.com/qWnhriYdxV
Though the couple has no children, both of them are more than happy just being with each other. Living at Longhorn Village, a retirement community in Austin, for the past decade, the two of them enjoy watching sports together and continue to keep themselves healthy. “In our ages, we’ve slowed down somewhat,” John Henderson explained to Today. “We used to go on cruises, but now we have to take it easy. We like watching sports and talking about what we’re going to do tomorrow.”
When speaking to Kaiser Health News in 2017, quoted USA Today, John gave out some advice for those looking to reach his age. “Living in moderation,” he said. “We never overdo anything. Eat well. Sleep well. Don’t overdrink. Don’t overeat. And exercise regularly.” However, for Charlotte, being married is what helped them become centenarians. “We had such a good time when John retired. We traveled a lot,” she said at the time. “We just stay busy all the time, and I’m sure that helps.”
Guinness world records reports John & Charlotte Henderson will celebrate 80 years of marriage December 22. My Wife Ava and I celebrate 62 years of marriage today December 22. We plan on breaking the Henderson’s record. pic.twitter.com/7NlzU3ra1V— Sheriff Joe Arpaio (@RealSheriffJoe) December 22, 2019
John's nephew, Jason Free mentioned that the couple is his relationship role model. “They don’t dwell on the past,” Jason told Today. “You won’t hear them say, ‘Oh, if only it were 1952 again, everything would be great.’ They are still making plans for their future together.”
As for the secret to being happily married so long — "Live life in moderation and be cordial to your spouse", John said, reported Inside Edition.
Here's to John and Charlotte continuing their long-lasting love and marriage for many more decades to come!