I have tried to figure this out but I cannot come to a specific conclusion. I am just asking this to confirm my own theory.

In Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore's memory proves that he was the headmaster when Tom Riddle came to ask for a professor's job at Hogwarts. He also tells in the same part that he was a professor at Hogwarts when he met the young Tom Riddle.

Also keeping his friendship with Grindelwald in mind, I would say that he was around 100 years old when he died.

Any more ideas?

  • 3
    Let me note that Griselda Marchbanks of the Wizarding Examinations Authority claims in Order of the Phoenix to have examined Dumbledore personally on his NEWT exams, so she's probably even older than him.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Mar 23, 2014 at 14:31

6 Answers 6


Dumbledore was approximately 150 years old when he died, according to J.K. Rowling.

Question: How old is old in the wizarding world, and how old are Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall?

J.K. Rowling: Dumbledore is a hundred and fifty, and Professor McGonagall is a sprightly seventy. Wizards have a much longer life expectancy than Muggles. (Harry hasn't found out about that yet.)

Scholastic Chat - 10.16.00

I'll add this from the Harry Potter Lexicon, which addresses the fact that Dumbledore's age seems to be less than 150 at the time of his death:

Birthdate: 1881 (JKR), probably in July or August. This date supercedes Jo's statement in 2001 that Dumbledore was "about 150 years old" (Blue Nose Day) and fits better with the dates that appear in Book 7. Regarding his month of birth, Rita [Skeeter] says that Dumbledore was “nearing” his 18th birthday when he left Hogwarts in June, but was still 17 when he met Grindelwald (DH18). Basically, at some point during Grindelwald’s stay at Godric’s Hollow Dumbledore turned 18, so the month of his birth appears to be July or August.

Harry Potter Lexicon - Albus Dumbledore

Basically, it boils down to JKR is really really terrible at her math!

  • I figured you would have chapter, page number or URL memorised of all people. ;)
    – dlanod
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 6:14
  • 4
    Interesting. How do we determine which answer is correct since they both come from JK Rowling. Or is it just attributed to her admitted bad math skills?
    – Legion600
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 6:30
  • 25
    JKR went to George Lucas Math and Sciences University Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 16:38
  • 28
    @DVK -- Hey, that's where I went to learn my maths, too. It has a great graduation rate -- 6 out of 5 students who attend go on to earn their degree ;) Commented Feb 27, 2012 at 11:21
  • 5
    I smell a retcon coming on. Next we'll be hearing how Muggles years are precisely 12 parsecs longer.
    – Valorum
    Commented Mar 11, 2014 at 0:05

The HP Lexicon lists Dumbledore's birth date as either July or August 1881 and his death as June 1997 so he was 115.

I dug a little more and found this from JK Rowling's Wizard of the Month posts from her website. The site no longer has the article but I have summoned it back with the Wayback Machine.

Albus Dumbledore

1881 - 1996
Brilliant and often controversial headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Albus Dumbledore is most famous for his 1945 defeat of Grindelwald and his steadfast championing of Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. Dumbledore's self-proclaimed proudest achievement, however, was featuring on a Famous Wizards Chocolate Frog Card.

  • maybe correct but i want some hints from the book that would give us the answer. Glad you could help :) Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 6:18
  • @DoNNie_DarkO Unfortunately I don't know that there is anything specific in the books. Just general hints that Dumbledore is rather old
    – Legion600
    Commented Feb 24, 2012 at 6:27
  • I wouldn't put it past dumbledore to have spent upwards of a quarter of his life time turned. he could easily have lived 150 years in those 115 years.
    – ZKe
    Commented Aug 30, 2020 at 21:43

According to the Harry Potter Wikia, he died at the age of 115.

  • Born - Summer, 1881. Mould-on-the-Wold, England
  • Died - 30 June 1997 (aged 115). Astronomy Tower, Hogwarts Castle

Dumbledore was 116 when he died.

Even more solid proof has arisen from Pottermore about Dumbledore's age from his character page.

His year of birth is listed as 1881 and his year of death is listed as 1997.

  • Technically, we don't know if 116 or 115, but amazing find! Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 12:56
  • 1
    @Alfredo that's a great point! He died on the 30th of June so it's almost exactly 50/50 as to whether he would be 115 or 116 yet. Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 13:28

Dumbledore finishes his 7th year at Hogwarts.. His mother dies.. He stays home to take care of his sister and befriends Grindelwald. That lil three-way fight happens between Aberforth, Dumbledore, and Grindelwald and someone kills Ariana accidently in late summer. Grindelwald flees and then five years later Dumbledore defeats Grindelwald and gets the Elder Wand in 1945. That would mean he was around 22 or 23 in 1945. Making him much younger than Jo Rowling said. Also making him around 75 at the time of his death.

  • 4
    Why do you believe there are only five years between Ariana's death and 1945?
    – Martha
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 18:22

I know this sounds crazy but today I'm going to prove that the whole character of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series is WRONG and it couldn't be possible.

Clues we know-

  1. Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald in 1945 (chocolate frog card).
  2. Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald after 5 years after they parted (Deathly Hallows chapter 35- Dumbledore tells it himself).
  3. Harry's parents died in 1981 (Deathly Hallows chapter 16- The graveyard of his parents)
  4. Harry was 1 year old when his parents died.
  5. Dumbledore died in 1997 in May or June.
  6. Dumbledore was 18 years old when Kendra died (Deathly Hallows chapter 17- written in The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore).
  7. Dumbledore was 19 years old when Ariana died and Grindelwald left (Deathly Hallows chapter 17- written in The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore).


Putting all the clues together, I conclude that Dumbledore was 19 year old in 1940. He died in 1997. Therefore, he was (19 + 57) 76 years old when he died.

This tells that he was only 5 years older than Voldemort (Voldemort was 72 when he died) and that his character would not be possible to even exist in the Harry Potter series.

  • Of all the places to pick on JKR's mathematical "creativity"... Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 15:32
  • 4
    Can you point to the exact quote in Deathly Hallows when Dumbledore says he defeated Grindelwald five years after they parted? I can't seem to find it.
    – alexwlchan
    Commented Feb 20, 2015 at 15:35
  • 1
    @alexwlchan From memory I only recall Dumbledore stating that he waited 5 years until he let himself finally be talked into facing Grindelwald for their famous duel. He put that meeting of for five years, but that was all there was to it (at least what I can recall without having the books at hand).
    – BMWurm
    Commented Jun 2, 2015 at 12:44
  • 4
    -1 for shoddy logic. As @BMWurm says, Dumbledore dallied for five years before facing Grindelwald when deep down he knew he should have challenged him sooner. But Grindelwald obviously didn’t leave Dumbledore and then immediately have a big army and dark empire right after that—that must have taken him decades to accomplish. Since we know (from Pottermore and other places) that Dumbledore was born in 1881, Grindelwald left in 1900 or 1901, and he therefore spent the next four decades perfecting his visions and building his army and empire. Nothing impossible about it. Commented Feb 7, 2016 at 14:24
  • 1
    It strikes me as funny and annoying at the same time . . . Dumbledore hesitated to fight both Grindelwald and Voldemort. Grindelwald because Dumbledore loved him, and Voldemort because of some unknown reason. Commented Dec 15, 2022 at 2:31

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