Oldest Man in History Dies

Japan's Jiroemon Kimura was 116

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 12, 2013 2:43 AM CDT | Updated Jun 12, 2013 4:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Japan's Jiroemon Kimura has died after living longer than any man in recorded history. The 116-year-old was born in 1897, the same year as Amelia Earhart and a time when the average male life expectancy in Japan was just 44, the BBC reports. "He has an amazingly strong will to live," an 80-year-old nephew said in an interview last year. "He is strongly confident that he lives right and well." Kimura had seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

Kimura—who left school in 1911, retired from the post office in 1962, and helped out on his son's farm until he was 90—was an early riser and a light eater, but he said he wasn't sure how he had managed to live so long. "Maybe it's all thanks to the sun above me," he said last year. "I am always looking up towards the sky, that is how I am." Genetics probably also played a role, Bloomberg notes: four of Kimura's five siblings lived to be more than 90 years old and his youngest brother survived to 100.

Jiroemon Kimura smiles after he was presented with the certificate of the world's oldest living man from Guinness last year.
Jiroemon Kimura smiles after he was presented with the certificate of the world's oldest living man from Guinness last year.   (AP Photo/Kyotango City)
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