by Louis Epstein (concept & raw data)
(presentation, rationalization, clarifications, ages and reversing the order
so it goes from present to 1666 [as opposed to 1666 to now])
This is a list of the earliest created cardinal at any one time, irrespective of order, promotions etc. It shows the doyens of the College [i.e., longest-serving living cardinal regardless of rank except to break ties among those created on the same day].
As of February 16, 2009, following the death of Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou Hwan, the doyen has been Cardinal Eugenio De Araujo Sales, created by Paul VI (#263) at his April 1969 consistory. Other than Sales all cardinals created at the 1969 consistory and all those that came before are now dead. So that is how you have to read this list.
Early on you will notice Pope John Paul II (#265) who was created a cardinal, again by Paul VI, in June 1967. When John Paul II died in 2005 he had outlived all cardinals created prior to him!
But, three other popes (going back to 1666) also had this distinction, i.e., outliving all cardinals created prior to them. They were: Leo XIII (#257), Pius VII (#252) & Benedict XII (#246).
This is not a list of the longest-ever cardinalates, only of those who had been cardinals longest at any given time — though many of these will make the list of longest-ever cardinalates.
Some 40-year cardinals (e.g. Sonnenthurn), and even 50 years (Maidalchini), do not make the list while others short of those milestones do. Cardinal Sonnenthurn was cardinal Nov 1761-Apr 1803, which was well short of the 1747 cardinals who outlasted him but long enough to be #1 at other times. Cardinal Maidalchini served from October 1647 to June 1700, just missing succeeding Cibo as longest-serving cardinal by less than two months.
This list ends with the death of Carlo de’ Medici on June 17, 1666.
1/ Leon von Skrbensky z Hriste was rumored illegitimate son of Emperor Franz Josef.
2/ Michael von Faulhaber ordained the current Pope as priest.