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Senility is not inevitable - history proves otherwise.

Senility Is Not Inevitable -- History Proves Otherwise

During the Golden Age of Greece when the average life expectancy of Greek citizens was little more than eighteen years, reflecting the fact that most people died at birth or in infancy, Pericles delivered his Funeral Oration, the foundation of modern democratic thought, at the age of sixty-nine.

Charlemagne ruled until 813 A.D., and handed over the reins of power to his son when he was seventy-one, at a time when people lived an average of just twenty-two years.

Michelangelo executed the "Pieta" when he was eighty years old, when the average Italian life expectancy was only to age thirty-two.

Goethe was eighty-four when Part II of Faust was first published.

Disraeli did not become Britain's Prime Minister until he was seventy, at a time when the average Englishman's life span was forty-seven years.

Winston Churchill was sixty-five years old in 1939 at the beginning of the Second World War, when he led his people to victory. He died at the age of ninety-one.

There was no senility for the remarkable figures of history. And the antisenility roll call continues with the names of Kant, Voltaire, Titian, Truman, deGaulle, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria, Liszt, Plato, Einstein, Buddha, Confucius, Galileo, Copernicus, Archimedes, Edison, and John D. Rockefeller. Ghengis Khan continued to rule for seven years past our current age of retirement. Eisenhower was sixty-seven when he composed the "Eisenhower Doctrine."

The two possible common factors that allowed for continued normal brain function for these historical figures were the inheritance of good genes and the provision of an optimum internal environment.
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Title Annotation:notable historic figures accomplished great things at advanced ages
Author:Hoffer, Abram; Walker, Morton
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jan 1, 1990
Previous Article:Psychiatric disorders that can simulate dementia.
Next Article:Misguided concern for the elderly.

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