Charlie Osborne was an American man who suffered from intractable hiccups for 68 years, from 1922 to 1990. While people thought his hiccups started due to alcohol consumption, this was not the case. A brain infection likely affected his body’s ability to prevent hiccups.
In 1925 came the first cure. Charlie was at a family friend's home trying to get some sleep. It was about 5 AM, and his hiccups had worsened, and he had to sleep sitting up. Someone told Charles Osborne that if he held his breath for twenty seconds and then swallowed a teaspoon of salt water, it could cure the hiccups. Charles Osborne tried it, and it worked- for about an hour.
Facts about June 13, 1922 – Charlie Osborne gets hiccups. They continue for 68 years.
- During the 58th year of his hiccuping, an episode of The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson featured a segment titled "Hiccups," starring Osborne. In 1958, Johnny Carson interviewed Charlie and did a skit with him on the set in his first appearance on the show. Osborne appeared in several more Tonight Show segments.
- The hiccups were bad enough in the first place, but it was especially hard in the second half of May when a new and much more volatile form of alcohol called ethyl alcohol had started to be legally sold.
- The hiccups were subtler during this period and didn't come on quite as frequently. But by June 13, 1922, their frequency had increased again to five times a day, and they lasted for 21 hours straight.
- His hiccups stopped shortly before his death.