If I Live to Be 100: The Wisdom of Centenarians

More than fifty extraordinary Americans, who have all celebrated their one hundredth birthday, share a century of insights. Paul Mobley has taken his camera on the road once again, this time to photograph America’s oldest and wisest citizens. Mobley traveled to all fifty states to find these indomitable, extraordinary centenarians. In this inspiring collection of intimate and powerful portraits, direct quotes, and personal stories, we learn that wisdom is the reward for perseverance. The centenarians in Mobley’s stunning portfolio are eyewitnesses to a century dominated by world wars and conflicts, space travel, and cultural and digital revolutions. Their stories are inspirational, educational, and deeply touching. In them, we are reminded that love, loss, hope, and grief are essential ingredients in a full life and that humor can get us through the worst of times. Mobley’s heartfelt portraits are a beautiful tribute to this unique assemblage of Americans. There are more than 70,000 centenarians in the United States alone. Each of them has touched others with their gift of long lives. This book is a celebration of this generation and an inspiration to the rest of us.

About The Author

Paul Mobley is an award-winning photographer recognized worldwide for his compelling portraits of celebrities and extraordinary Americans. His 2008 book, American Farmer: Portraits from the Heartland (Welcome), garnered an impressive collection of awards: the Independent Book Award for Outstanding Book, the Red Rose Publishing Award, and the Cowboy Hall of Fame Award for Outstanding Book.

Allison Milionis is a writer, editor, and the author of Horse Sanctuary. Her stories, essays, and interviews have appeared in national and international publications, in books, on radio, and online.

Norman Lear, age 94, began his television writing career in 1950. He is best known for producing the Emmy Award–winning All in the Family, as well as Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons.

  • Publish Date: October 11, 2016
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Photography - Subjects & Themes - Portraits & Selfies
  • Publisher: Welcome Books
  • Trim Size: 9 x 11
  • Pages: 216
  • US Price: $55.00
  • CDN Price: $75.00
  • ISBN: 978-1-59962-135-7


"[In If I Live to Be 100] readers are reminded of the fleetingness of life and are reminded to cherish and remember each moment. One is able to realize the importance of both love and loss in the creation of a full life. Each of these fifty people are only a fraction of the 70,000 living centenarians in the United States, and each and every one of them have touched thousands of lives over the course of their long and fulfilling lives. Truly a celebration of the gift of life itself, this book is truly a moving piece."
Juxtapoz Magazine

"100 years of wisdom: Touching portraits of century-old Americans"

"If I Live to be 100 is a collection of stunning monochrome portraits that give us personal glimpses into the last hundred years as reflected in the wonderful faces and oral reminiscences of 50 remarkable centenatians. . . The verbal musings that accompany these photogrphs are witty, reflective and compelling, but the images are the thing with this book - pure inspiration to everyone who photographs the complex, nuanced landscape of the human face."
Rangefinder Magazine

"For the new coffee-table book If I Live to be 100: The Wisdom of Centenarians, the photographer Paul Mobley traveled to all fifty states to capture the portraits of 100-year-old (and up) Americans. The writer Allison Milionis conducted interviews with the subjects and their families, sharing the story of each centenarian, some of whom have since passed away." 
—Garden & Gun

"In the book . . .Mobley shares stunning photographs of the elders ― wrinkles and all ― plus their best advice." 
—Huffington Post 

"A new book presents beautiful portraits of Americans who have celebrated their 100th birthday"

"The idea for If I Live to Be 100 took root while Mobley was working on a book about American farmers, when he noticed parents or grandparents of his subjects hanging around their houses. “I would ask, ‘Is that your dad? How old is he?’ ” Mobley recalled. “And they would say, ‘Oh, he’s 103.’ ” 

"The book is partly a travelog: Over the course of two years, Mobley traveled to each of the country’s 50 states to find his subjects. But you may as well think of it as a journey through time."

"Mobley was constantly surprised by the energy and liveliness of his subjects. They were still leading engaged, active lives. “I discovered a treasure trove of ideas and lessons on how we can all live gracefully and with meaning as we travel toward our final sunset,” he wrote."
The Washington Post

"All the feels, looking at Paul Mobley’s work in this collection of beautiful portraits of centenarians across the US. The images and quotes reflect the dignity and whimsy of old age, the passage of time a badge of honor to be shared.”
—Kate Bubacz, Buzzfeed News

"After crisscrossing the country with his wife in an Airstream trailer, Mobley created a lively look at their lives in If I Live to Be 100: The Wisdom of Centenarians. His black-and-white portraits reveal plenty of spunk, personality and spirit, while Allison Milionis writes an accompanying profile of each subject."
—Book Page

“If I live to be 100 features one centenarian from each of the fifty United States. Each chapter leads with a flawless black-and-white portrait. To obtain the images, Mobley, His wife Suzanne, and their dog Jessie, went state by state to meet the subjects and ask them ‘What is the key to your long life?’”
—North American Nature Photography Association 

"Mobley traveled to all 50 states to find these indomitable, extraordinary centenarians and calls this book a celebration of this generation and an inspiration to the rest of us."
—Foster's Daily Democrat

Author Bookshelf: Paul Mobley

Author Bookshelf: Norman Lear