The world’s oldest man, 112-year-old Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez, died on Friday in his home town of New York. He apparently died peacefully at a nursing home in Grand Island.
Sanchez-Blazquez, was born in a small Spanish village named El Tejado de Bejar, on June 8, 1901. He was a man of many talents and a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. Having taught himself to be a musician, he was also a coal miner and an avid gin rummy player.
Sanchez-Blazquez only held the record of the world’s oldest man for a little over 3 months. Jiroemon Kimura, who died in June, aged 116, held the record until his death.
The oldest man moved to Cuba with a group of friends when he was 17, working together with them in cane fields. He arrived at Ellis Island in 1920 and worked the coal mines in Lynch.
He later settled in Niagara Falls, on the New York side, where he worked for many years constructing industrial furnaces. He married his wife, Pearl, in 1934.
The man’s nickname was shorty, perhaps because he was a very humble man who wanted no recognition for the fact he was the world’s oldest man.
His daughter, Irene Johnson, aged 69, said about her father’s move to the nursing home: “We did our best. We weren’t going to put him somewhere just because he was old.”
Usually woman fare better when it comes to living a long life. Ninety percent of people over 100 are female, and Sanchez-Blazquez is the only recorded male to be able to prove his age with a proper birth certificate.
He leaves a legacy of seven grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. He even has five great-great-grandchildren.