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The Oldest Ever?

January-February 2006

Walter Seward, LL.B. ’24, turned 109 in October, making him the oldest living—and longest lived—Harvard alumnus known. He was born in Toledo, Ohio, on October 13, 1896, while Grover Cleveland was president. What accounts for his longevity? “I’m still trying to figure that out,” says Seward with characteristic flair. His daughter has attributed his old age to consistent exercise. “Oh yes, I’ve got to do that everyday,” he agrees. “I can’t sit still. If I didn’t exercise, I know I’d become something made of plastic.” Seward, who lives in his own home in West Orange, New Jersey, last visited the law school on August 23, 2004—which Dean Elena Kagan declared Walter Seward Day—to celebrate his then-forthcoming 108th birthday.