World's Oldest Man Dies at 113

British man was one of the last surviving WWI veterans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 18, 2009 6:03 AM CDT
Britain's oldest man, and oldest surviving First World War veteran Henry Allingham, celebrates his 113th birthday at a party hosted by the Royal Navy, at HMS President in London. Saturday June 6, 2009....   (AP Photo/Dominic Lipinski, PA)
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(Newser) – Britain's oldest surviving veteran of World War I has died aged 113, the BBC reports. Henry Allingham, who became the world's oldest man after the death of a Japanese 113-year-old last month, passed away peacefully at a care home for veterans. Politicians and veterans' groups paid tribute to Allingham, who was highly active in keeping memories of the war alive and whose mind remained sharp until the end.

Allingham, whose dynasty includes 14 great-great grandchildren and one great-great-great grandchild, once quipped that his longevity was due to "cigarettes, whisky, and wild, wild women." Others put it down to sheer determination. "He was a very dignified, very gentle man," one historian who knew Allingham says. "He was so surprised to survive the first world war that he saw whatever came next as a reward. He made the most of his life."