Speed Reads


Last known 1906 San Francisco earthquake survivor dies at 109

Bill Del Monte didn't remember the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that devastated the city — he was just three months old when it happened — but he could recall the memories his mother shared with him.

"My mother in the kitchen, she put the tablecloth around me, wrapped it around me as a bundle, and put me on a cart, and we went down Broadway Street to the ferry," he told NBC Bay Area at his 108th birthday party. "There was fire on both sides of the street." On Monday, Del Monte's family announced that the last known survivor of the San Francisco earthquake died in a senior care facility in San Rafael, California. Del Monte was 109, 11 days away from turning 110.

San Francisco's mayor, Ed Lee, said in a statement that Del Monte represented "the resilience of the people of San Francisco." Del Monte said he liked witnessing the city transform over the years, and saw many improvements. "It wasn't too much of a city then, but it sure is now," he said.