Lee Ching-Yuen was born in 1677 and died on 6 May 1933 which means lived for 256 years. He was a herbalist, teacher of martial arts and tactical advisor. He claimed he was born in 1736, but there are documented data proving he was born in 1677 and lived 256 years. If his claim would be true, then he would have 197 years when he died, so that in both cases he lived the longest human life in history. Right after him was Frenchwoman Jenny Kalment who lived 122 years and 164 days.
Lee Ching-Yuen was born in the town of Qijiang Xian in the Chinese province of Sichuan. In 1930 the professor Wu Chung-Chieh Cheng of the University discovered government documents containing data from 1827 that congratulated the 150th birthday of Li Ching-Yen. Then also found documents that congratulate 200th birthday in 1877. His fellow villagers tell that he was gathering herbs in the mountains more than ten years and also taught methods and techniques for longevity.
He lived according to a special diet, eating only herbs and rice wine. So he survived the first 40 years of his life, and in 1749 when he was 71 years old he moved to Kai Xian to join the Chinese army as a teacher of martial arts and as a tactical advisor.
Some people say he died of natural death, others doubt, because they claim that before he died, he said: “I have done all that I have to do in this world, now I will go home”
Lee had been selling herbs and forest fruits along with other Chinese herbalists; he for his 256 years was married 23 times and he outlived all of his wifes. After his death, General Yang Sen has researched his life and according to the research he wrote a report for him, who was subsequently published.
After his death the general wrote a report called “The actual document for a 250 years old, but happy man,” which describes him as a man with good vision, quick step, two meters tall, ruddy skin complexion and very long nails.
“Time” magazine in 1930, wrote an article titled “Tortoise-Pigeon-Dog” which recounts the life of Li Ching-Yen including his response to the secret of long life: “have a tranquil mind, sitting like a tortoise, walk sprightly as a pigeon and sleep like a dog.”