View Full Version: Leonard McCracken

The 110 Club > Honorable Mentions > Leonard McCracken

Title: Leonard McCracken
Description: 107-year-old

Admin CalvinTy - January 18, 2011 08:13 PM (GMT)
There is an article about 107-year-old retired man in Florida talking about retirement & how he has been frugal all those years:

View of Retirement at 107 (originally at
View of Retirement at 107 (Yahoo article that I saw first)

Focusing on details about his life only:

"McCracken, who lives in Florida, has been living in retirement since about 1969, when he left a position as a salesman with a now-defunct steel company in Ohio."

"...his son Bob, a 73-year-old retired GE aircraft engineer."

"...wife (Dorothy, who died in 2002 at 95 after 75 years of marriage)."

This suggests that he and his wife Dorothy was married about 1927 (2002 - 75 = 1927). A quick look at 1930 U.S. Census may have a match *IF* he & his wife are originally from Ohio and was living there in 1930:

1930 United States Federal Census
Champion, Trumbull, Ohio, USA

Leonard Mc Cracken 26 (born Ohio)
Dorothy Mc Cracken 22 (born Ohio)
Carolyn J Mc Cracken 4/12 (born Ohio)

Possible SSDI match of his wlife (death actually in early 2003, but possible):

Name: Dorothy M. McCracken
SSN: xxxxx
Last Residence: 34748 Leesburg, Lake, Florida, United States of America
Born: 14 Sep 1907
Died: 4 Mar 2003
State (Year) SSN issued: Ohio (1973)

This would support the Ohio issuance of her SSN and her age of 22 in April 1930, and they living in Florida.

I see a public record of Leonard E McCracken dated 1993:

Name: Leonard E McCracken
Birth Date: 11 Jul 1903
Phone Number: 728-2060
Address: 709 Perkins Bldg A St 9, Leesburg, FL, 34748 (1993)
[207 Waterfront Dr, Leesburg, FL, 34748-9124]

So it looks like Leonard could be 107 years old if the earlier Censuses in Ohio are indeed him:

1920 United States Federal Census
Warren Ward 1, Trumbull, Ohio, USA

Robert A Mccrackin 40 Head (born Missouri)
Ruby Mccrackin 38 Wife (born Ohio)
Lenord E Mccrackin 16 Son (born Ohio)
Jennette Mccrackin 13 Daughter (born Ohio)
Carlton Mccrackin 9 Son (born Ohio)
Donald Mccrackin 5 Son (born Ohio)
James Dundoe 30 Roomer (born Russia)

1910 United States Federal Census
Warren Ward 2, Trumbull, Ohio, USA

Robert A Mccracken 32 (born Indiana)
Ruby B Mccracken 29 (born Ohio)
Leonard E Mccracken 6 (born Ohio)
Jenette Mccracken 3 (born Ohio)
June Krepps 15 Servant (born Pennsylvania)

April 1910 Census: 6 years old, supports Jul 1903 birth date
January 1920 Census: 16 years old, supports Jul 1903 birth date
April 1930 Census: 26 years old, supports Jul 1903 birth date

I realize that he is only 107, not yet the cut-off age of 108 before we begin the validation process, but Robert has indicated that he would process 107+ males and 108+ females in Yahoo WOP. I'll re-post this over there shortly.

* CalvinTy

Admin CalvinTy - January 18, 2011 08:23 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Admin CalvinTy @ Jan 18 2011, 03:13 PM)
I realize that he is only 107, not yet the cut-off age of 108 before we begin the validation process, but Robert has indicated that he would process 107+ males and 108+ females in Yahoo WOP.  I'll re-post this over there shortly.

* CalvinTy

On second thought, I will hold off on posting my findings on the Yahoo WOP Group because I'm essentially relying on the fact that Leonard McCracken (and his wife) lived in Ohio solely based on this partial sentence: "...retirement since about 1969, when he left a position as a salesman with a now-defunct steel company in Ohio."

Until we find something that says he's from Ohio, *only* then we know he is the same Leonard McCracken of Ohio.

* CalvinTy

Admin CalvinTy - January 18, 2011 08:30 PM (GMT)
Of course, I finally used Google, LOL.

This article confirms he is the same person:


August 30, 2010|By Lori Carter, SPECIAL TO THE ORLANDO SENTINEL

TAVARES Leonard McCracken of Tavares recently discussed his long life, memories of days gone by and how he made it to 107.

What has contributed to your longevity?

I've told many people oatmeal and attitude. I've recently added gratitude.

What do you remember about the Roaring 20s and the Great Depression?

The Roaring 20s has a lot of good songs. I liked the music. Not like today. The Great Depression was a more serious thing than people realized. In the banking business, brokers were jumping out of windows. The ones that didn't were selling pencils on the corners.

How'd you meet your spouse?

At Christian Science Church in Warren, Ohio. I went to Sunday school. I was 15 at the time and we wanted to have parties once a month. Her dad was one of the Readers.

What's the most significant technological change you've witnessed?

When Dorothy [his late wife] and I were married, we didn't have an electric cooking system. There weren't refrigerators. We had a box and the ice man came twice a week to put a chunk of ice in it.

How old were you when you got your first TV and what are your favorite shows?

I was about 40. Lawrence Welk was always our favorite. The more smoother music.

One particular event that changed the course of your life?

I was at my grandmother's in Green, Ohio. Our family moved from the country down to Warren. I was about 15 when I visited my grandmother. I heard a noise in the pantry early in the morning. It was my grandmother playing the auto harp. I stayed there and listened to her play "Nearer, My God, To Thee." It got me into music. I had a band with my two brothers. I played tenor banjo.

Contribution to the war effort?

At that time, my daughter was just born, so I wasn't in the military. I worked as a purchasing agent at Thompson Products Co. in Cleveland. The company built parts for airplanes and motorcars during the war.

Got any tips for living a long life?

Moderation. Slow down and smell the roses.

* CalvinTy

Admin CalvinTy - January 18, 2011 08:38 PM (GMT)
The 2008 article (on his 105th birthday) that covers everything we need about Leonard McCracken:

A life of music, moderation (July 11, 2008)

A life of music, moderation
July 11, 2008|By Sara Sheckler, Special To The Sentinel

LEESBURG -- The year 1903 was a momentous one.

It marked the birth of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and the death of artist James McNeil Whistler.

Jack London wrote The Call of the Wild, and Henry Ford founded Ford Motor Co.

It was also the year Leesburg resident Leonard McCracken was born. He turns 105 today.

McCracken grew up in the city of his birth, Youngstown, Ohio, and in Warren, Ohio.

"The funny part is that longevity does not run in my family," said McCracken, who has lived at Wedgewood Community in Leesburg about two years.

What's his explanation for passing the centenarian mark by five years?

"I have eaten oatmeal every morning for breakfast and kept a positive attitude," he said.

McCracken outlived his wife, Dorothy, who died in 2003, and his daughter, Carolyn Jackson, who died in 1997.

Dorothy died one year after the couple celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary.

"It was a terrifically good marriage," Leonard McCracken said.

Willard Scott of NBC's Today show mentioned the McCrackens' anniversary on the air in 2002.

Leonard McCracken has had a lifelong interest in music.

From the time he was about 20 until he turned 35, he played tenor banjo in dance bands across northeast Ohio. He then picked up the autoharp.

"The tenor banjo has four steel strings, and as I got older my fingers got to the point I couldn't handle the strings," McCracken said.

His introduction to the autoharp occurred 100 years ago, when he heard his grandmother Jeannette Tomlinson playing that instrument.

"I was 5 years old and was so impressed with her music that it stayed with me," McCracken said.

McCracken worked in the banking industry for 23 years. He also worked as a purchasing agent, taught a Dale Carnegie class and sold steel.

He and his wife moved to Leesburg in 1960.

McCracken's memories include the influenza pandemic that swept through Warren, the country and across the globe in 1918.

"Our family was so sick no one could work. Dad had to spend his life's savings to pay our living expenses," he said.

McCracken's grandparents lived near a funeral home in Warren, where thousands of residents died from influenza. "My grandparents helped gather the many people who died during the nights. The undertakers couldn't take care of the bodies fast enough," he said.

He recalled the first radio he owned, a second-hand model he purchased when he was 25.

"It was powered off a wet battery -- like a car battery -- and had to be charged every so often," he said.

His birthday plans include breakfast with friends today at his favorite restaurant, Pete's Diner in Fruitland Park, and a party at Leesburg Public Library on Saturday.

McCracken's advice for people seeking to live a long life?

"Practice moderation. Slow down and smell the roses," he said.

And perhaps eat a daily bowl of oatmeal.

* CalvinTy

clark kent - January 19, 2011 03:35 AM (GMT)
I was also able to read his article of being still financially independent at age 107. I know most centenarians depend on their family or other people for their financial needs. but he still pays his own bills at 107 despite not receiving a pension. hope he reaches 110 too someday

onewarmslime - January 19, 2011 04:18 PM (GMT)
He appears to be in great shape. He's even seen playing music in the yahoo article :D (or at any rate, handling machinery)

Hope he gets validated. His case looks good.

clark kent - January 20, 2011 07:45 AM (GMT)
Yeah hope he gets validated someday

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