Alexander Imich just gained the title of World’s Oldest Man in April, but on Sunday, the 111-year-old New York City resident died.
Imich had been in failing health for the past two weeks, said his niece, Karen Bogen. She said that Imich didn’t recognize her in her most recent visits.
Imich was a retired chemist and parapsychologist born in Poland in 1903. He and his wife fled in 1939, shortly after the Nazi invasion and came to the United States in 1951. His wife died in 1986.
There had been a rash of media coverage about Imich in the last month as he “officially” became the oldest man in the world in April after the death of 111-year-old Arturo Licata of Italy.
But ultimately, Alexander Imich had a straightforward answer and a sense of humor about why he lived so long.
“I don’t know, I simply didn’t die earlier. I have no idea how this happened,” Imich said.
Dr. Imich said his motto was to “always pursue what one loves and is passionate about.”
Though he was the oldest man, Imich actually had several elders spread across the globe. There are 66 women born before February 4, 1903, Imich’s birthday.
To get an idea of just how old Imich was, the year he was born was the same year the New York Yankees made their debut in the Big Apple. It was also the year the Cadillac Model A was introduced and the first year the tea bag was patented. The average annual wage was $481, and the average car cost about $760.
The death of Alexander Imich means that the title of World’s Oldest Man goes to 111-year-old Sakari Momoi of Japan. The world’s oldest person is Misao Okawa, a 116-year-old woman from Japan.