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Jovan Jovanović (MNE-BIH; 1906-2016)

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Jovan Jovanović (Serbian: Јован Јовановић) was born in the village of Donji Brčeli, Bar Municipality, Principality of Montenegro (today Montenegro), on 16 September 1906. His father, Pero, dissapeared during World War I.

In 1934, he graduated literature and Russian language in Belgrade, Serbia (then Kingdom of Yugoslavia). His first job was at the Gymnasium of Berane. In December 1943, he married Zagorka, a woman originally from Sarajevo. They moved to Sarajevo where his mother-in-law lived. He had 3 brothers and only one sister, Ljubica, who was imprisoned during World War II, and eventually died in January 1945 in a concentration camp in Vienna. His mother survived the war. In April 1946, he was imprisoned by OZNA (the security agency of Communist Yugoslavia) and sent to the prison in Cetinje (Montenegro). After he was released a year later, he worked in schools in Pljevlja, later again in Foča, and then in Sarajevo. In January 1957, he started working at the Sarajevo University Library and worked there until retirement. His wife passed away in 1973. They had no children.

During the Bosnian War in 1990s, his apartment got destroyed and Jovanović was wounded. Alongside his dog, he spent five months living in a shed until Bosnian army saved him. After that, he came to the improvised center for the elderly located in the Vladimir Nazor school. He said how he was was mistreated there and was not given enough food. In March 1996, he moved to the Gerontological Center in Sarajevo.

He witnessed 5 wars during his lifetime: two Balkan wars, two World Wars and Yugoslav wars. He published 222 publications on Christian philosophy, pedagogy, history and geography during his life, and at the age of 109 he was studying the poem of "Gorski vijenac" by poet Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. When asked about the secret of his longevity, he did not know what it was, but was sure the genetics were not one of the factors. He added how he never drank alcohol or smoked, and never even tried a coffee.

Jovanović passed away on 1 October 2016, at the age of 110 years, 15 days. His age was validated by the European Supercentenarian Organisation (ESO) on 22 March 2022. He is the first validated supercentenarian born in Montenegro, the first SC to die in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the oldest validated man who died in the Balkans, and the oldest ethnic Serbian man ever.

January 2016 report

February 2016

Video report at 109

ESO Website


As a young man:


As an elderly man:


At 109 (©Patria):


At 109 (©

LAS Member/Administrator (since January 2020)
ESO Correspondent for Croatia (since 2 August 2021)

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