WASHINGTON, June 12, 2013 — The 116 year-old-man who holds the record for the oldest man ever, Jiroemon Kimura, died today in Japan.
According to officials, Kimura died of natural causes, although he had been hospitalized since last month with pneumonia.
According to Guinness World Records, Kimura was the first man in history to live to be 116 years old. He was also the oldest living person. With his death, the oldest person alive is now Misao Okawa, born on March 5 1898, who also lives in Japan.
The oldest woman in history was Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.
Kimura was born in 1897 in Japan. That year, William McKinley was inaugurated as the 25th president of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt became Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Thomas Edison patented the Kinetographic camera, ‘Dracula’ was published and both William Faulkner and Amelia Earhart were born.
Kimura was a farmer and a postal worker. He said he kept his mind fit throughout his life by learning new things, including how to speak English when he was 115 years old. He also credited eating lightly and getting out in the sunlight for his longevity.
Kimura is survived by seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren.
Japan has the highest proportion of elderly in the world, with 40 centurions per 100,000 people. Japan’s average life expectancy is 83 years old, compared to 78.64 in the United States. According to the World Health Organization, Sierra Leone has the lowest life expectancy, at 47.
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