Guinness Records Oldest Person Dies Aged 116

June 12, 2013 Updated: April 17, 2014

The Japanese man officially recognized as the world’s longest living person has died at the age of 116. 

Jiroemon Kimura was born April 19, 1897. Japanese officials said he died in a local hospital in Kyotango, where he had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia.

He is reported to have seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 13 great-great-grandchildren.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, he was the first man in history to have lived to the age of 116.

The title of oldest living person has passed to a Japanese lady, 115-year-old Misao Okawa, of Osaka, who was born March 5, 1898.

Mr Kimura said he was not sure why he was able to live so long, when he gave an interview on his 115th Birthday to Bloomberg News. “Maybe it’s all thanks to the sun above me,” he said. “I am always looking up towards the sky, that is how I am.”

“He said his secret to his longevity was eating light to live long,” the journalist who interviewed him told the BBC. “At the same time, his main carer and grand-daughter-in-law, Aiko, said his positivity helped him to live so long.”

“Jiroemon Kimura was an exceptional person,” Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of Guinness World Records, told AP. “As the only man to have ever lived for 116 years—and the oldest man whose age has been fully authenticated—he has a truly special place in world history.”

Various other claims have been made in recent times of people living for longer than 116 years, but they have not been authenticated by the Guiness Book of Records. 

There are claims that many historical documents from around the world over the centuries demonstrate longevity far exceeding that of Mr Kimura, with many people apparently living in excess of 200 years, and in a few cases, far beyond that. However, the claims in the records cannot be substantiated. 

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