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Jerry  Friedman

Jerry Friedman

Photographer / Author / Expert on Supercentenarians

Jerry Friedman

Photographer / Author / Expert on Supercentenarians


Founder of Earth's Elders Foundation, Jerry Friedman has spent the past seven years working on a landmark project to introduce the world to the sixty oldest people on earth. Through his globe-trotting journey to document their lives, Friedman has become the leading expert on supercentenarians, those who have lived 110 years or more.  No one else in history has ever met and interviewed so many of the oldest people on earth.

An award-winning photographer, Friedman worked with worldwide advertising agencies Young and Rubicam, Ogilvy & Mather, Dentsu and Saatchi & Saatchi on print, magazine, and television. When an experience at a senior care center brought him face-to-face with the disenfranchisement of the elderly population, Friedman turned his eye to his camera. The initial idea was to capture portraits of the older residents, dictate their life story, and hopefully make these isolated people feel a sense of connection to the world.  Using his lens to capture this community, Friedman shed new light on the invisible world of supercentenarians.  His work provides an unprecedented look at the hearts, minds and spirits of these extreme elderly, and in the process, uncovers remarkable insights into health and the aging process. 

Since the release of his book Earth’s Elders: The Wisdom of the World’s Oldest People, Friedman has been featured on CBS News Healthwatch, WNBC, Nite Beat, Tass, appeared on radio and in newspapers around the globe, and has spoken at colleges, universities, and local and national organizations. Earth’s Elders has been recognized with a major traveling show at the United Nations, at the Capitol rotunda in Washington DC, and with shows in New York, Boston, Tokyo and Amsterdam, and its two-part television program won an Emmy. 

Inspired by the opportunity to improve the quality of life for the elderly, to teach children to recognize the wisdom and value of the elderly as essential parts of our families and our society, and to improve the health of our communities through intergenerational tolerance and communication, Friedman created the educational nonprofit organization, The Earth’s Elders Foundation.

Friedman also partnered with the prestigious Bank Street College of Education to create an educational curriculum that has been implemented in elementary and high school classrooms throughout the country and as far away as Australia. Through the intergenerational activities of the lessons, Friedman hopes homes and schools become living libraries for learning and communication among the generations.

Speech Topics

Earth's Elders: The Wisdom of The World's Oldest People