The OLDEST Public Company CEOs In America (PHOTOS)

06/03/2010 08:59 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

By 24/7 Wall Street -- The official retirement age for executives at many large U.S. corporations has been 65 for several decades -- unless the executive also happens to be the founder.

Forty years ago, 65 was considered old. The average life expectancy for a man born in 1900 was 46 and, by 1950, had only risen to 68 . At one time, it made sense to require CEOs to step down at 65.

Now, many people who are 65 years old are in the prime of their lives. The number of people living well into their 90s has soared. There are rare cases of powerful chairmen and CEOs in their 70s and 80s still leading their companies. Surprisingly, the tradition of CEO's retiring around the age of 65 has not changed.

Read the full story here, including all of the CEOs on the list, and check out our favorite CEOs on 24/7 Wall St.'s list below.