Guinness World Records has named Salustiano Sanchez, 112, the world’s oldest man. Based on official records, Sanchez was given the title as he was born in 1901 in the village of El Tejado de Bejar in Spain and currently resides in New York.
This means no man born in the 19th century is still living.
Sanchez was given the title following the death of 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura, from Japan, on June 12. Kimura was the world’s oldest man and, at the time of his death, the world’s oldest person. The world’s oldest woman, and oldest living person, is now 115-year-old Misao Okawa, also hailing from Japan. The oldest living individual ever verified was Jeanne Louise Calment, from France, who lived to be 122 years and 164 days old.
The Guinness Book of World Records’ senior gerontology consultant, Robert Young, says the vast majority of people living past the age of 100, up to 90 percent, are female. Sanchez was born on June 8, 1901, in Spain and moved to Cuba at the age of 17. From there, Sanchez went to New York, passing through Ellis Island, in 1920, notes Guinness Book of World Records. Sanchez worked at a coal mine in Kentucky before settling in the town of Grand Falls, N.Y., located near the Niagara Falls. According to Young, Sanchez is the only man who has proof he was born in 1901.
According to the Associated Press, Sanchez’ age was verified using census reports, immigration records from Ellis Island, news clips and his marriage certificate. Sanchez moved to New York and married his wife, Pearl, in 1934. Pearl died in 1998 and Sanchez has been living in a nursing home since 2007, reports AP. The couple’s children include his son John, 76, and his daughter Irene, 69, and Sanchez has seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren, notes Guinness World Records.
Over the years, the world’s oldest man picked up plenty of hobbies, including gardening, gin rummy and crossword puzzles. He also is a self-taught musician, playing the dulzania, a double-reed instrument similar to an oboe or double-reed clarinet, when he was younger.
As for the secret to Sanchez’ longevity, he credits his diet, which includes eating a banana every day. His daughter speculated on another reason saying to AP, “I think it's just because he's an independent, stubborn man.”
Charles Poladian joined IBTimes in October 2012 and, when not reporting on all things topical, can be found reading or photographing concerts.