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World's oldest man dies: Salustiano Sanchez was 112

CNN
Sunday, September 15, 2013 - 10:20am

For a man who lived for so long, it was a short reign.

Salustiano Sanchez, 112, was named world's oldest man in June. Shorty, as his friends affectionately referred to him, died Friday at a nursing home in western New York. His reign lasted three months.

Sanchez's list of hobbies was varied: avid gardener, crossword puzzles, gin rummy aficionado, self-taught musician. His longevity, he once said, is a result of eating a banana a day.

He became the world's oldest man after his predecessor, Jiroemon Kimura, died of natural causes in western Japan in June. Kimura was 116.

It began in a small village ...

Sanchez's journey to the history books started in a small village in Spain, where he was born on June 8, 1901. During his early years, he was a pro in playing the dulzania, a Spanish double-reed wind instrument. He made extra money by playing at village celebrations and weddings.

Sanchez later moved to Cuba with his brother, where they worked at sugar fields.

After a few years, he relocated to the United States through Ellis Island, and found a job working at coal mines in Kentucky in 1920.

He later moved to the Niagara Falls area of New York, and married the love of his life in 1934.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Unfazed by status

Sanchez leaves behind two children, and an extended family that includes grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Despite all the attention following his world status, he remained unassuming.

In a statement to the Guinness World Records after he was appointed world's oldest man, he said he did not feel accomplished just because he was older than most.

But he was accomplished. About 90% of all supercentenarians are female and he is the only man born in 1901 with proof of birth, said Robert Young of Guinness.

The oldest authenticated person in the world, Jeanne Louise Calment of France, died at age 122. Last month, Bolivian man Carmelo Flores Laura claimed to be 123 years old, but his birth certificate and national identity card were not original. Experts later said his claim is not true.

Not to be outdone, the world's oldest person is a woman. Japanese Misao Okawa is a cool 115 years old.

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