Ben Raymond, 108, London’s Oldest Person
Ben Raymond, London’s oldest person, died at age 108 on April 20. According to the UK-based Jewish Chronicle, the cause was recorded as coronavirus, although he was not tested.
Raymond was a mustachioed hairdresser with famous clients. The actor Charlton Heston came to the salon. Heston once gave him a tip worth about $230 today, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was another client. Raymond dyed the Prince’s hair black on site at the Marylebone Clinic, accompanied by the Saudi royal’s concubines.
The British publication, The Jewish News, quotes his nephew, Leon Schacter, who said that Raymond was a “born entertainer, always looking at the bright side, quick to laugh and to share a story, always with a twinkle in his eye.”
He attributed his long life in part to downing an occasional glass of whiskey.
According to Jewish News, the rabbi at his funeral called him a “very positive, happy-go-lucky man.”
Raymond was formerly a member of Croydon Synagogue and later Sutton United Synagogue.
He took the name Raymond after a famous hairdresser called Raymond Bessone, better known as Mr. Teasy Weasy, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
Born in London’s East End, he was stationed at Oxford University as a nurse in the army during World War II. He scrubbed floors there.
He later worked at an American Red Cross salon pressing trousers of soldiers before becoming a hairdresser.
His wife had longevity too. She lived to be a centenarian as well. They were married 76 years. They both loved to dance.