Oldest Longhorn Couple Leaves a Lasting Legacy

In the wake of their passing, the oldest Longhorn couple will leave a lasting effect on generations of future students. The estate of the late John Henderson, BS ’36, and Charlotte Henderson, BS ’37, Life Members, has pledged nearly $2 million in scholarship support for students from Baytown, Texas, and for scholars recommended by the Texas Exes Longhorn Village Chapter.

“Some people bleed orange, but none more appropriately than John Henderson,” said former Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell at John’s 100th birthday party in 2012, in a proclamation that designated his birthday, Dec. 24, as “John Henderson Day.”

The Hendersons are recognized by Guinness World Records as the World’s Oldest Couple

John was the oldest Longhorn letterman, and Guinness World Records named the Hendersons the “oldest married couple” in 2019 for their aggregate age of 212 years. The couple met in a UT zoology class in 1934 and enjoyed more than 80 years of marriage. “She was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen,” John told the Alcalde in a 2020 cover story.

“He’s always been a great fella,” Charlotte said. “I’ve always been in love with him and evidently he’s in love with me.” Charlotte was a teacher in Hempstead and at the Kinkaid School in Houston. Together they lived in Baytown for 70 years.

A charter member of the Longhorn Foundation, John was a guard and “leatherhead” on the 1933–35 football teams. He met with every head coach since that time and attended at least one game for 84 consecutive seasons.

The Hendersons attributed their longevity to a shared love of sports, regular exercise, and jokingly, no children. In 2009, they were one of the first to move into Longhorn Village, where John was known as the unofficial mayor of the community and was often found in the gym, or on his daily 3-mile walk around the property.

The Hendersons seated together for their 2020 Alcalde cover story.

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