Grand Island, NY — Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez-Blazquez, the world’s oldest man, has died at 112.
According to Guinness World Records consultant Robert Young, Sanchez-Blazquez died Friday at a nursing home in Grand Island, New York.
Sanchez-Blazquez took over the title of world’s oldest man when Jiroemon Kimura died in June at 116. Kimura died of natural causes in a hospital in his hometown of Kyotango, near Kyoto. He had been hospitalized for pneumonia since May, and in the days leading up to his death, his urine production and blood sugar level had declined. Kimura attributed his long life to a little bit of sunlight.
“Maybe it’s all thanks to the sun above me,” Kimura said. “I am always looking up towards the sky, that is how I am.”
Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez had his own secret to longevitity: bananas and Anacin. He said he ate one banana and took six Anacin tablets every day. He also kept his mind sharp by doing crossword puzzles and playing gin rummy with friends.
His daughter, Irene Johnson, with whom he lived until 2007, said her father lived so long “because he’s an independent, stubborn man.”
Sanchez-Blazquez was born in Spain on June 8, 1901. He moved to Cuba in 1918 with his brother, where he worked in sugar cane fields until 1920. He then came to the United States through Ellis Island, and settled in Lynch, Kentucky, where he worked in coal mines. He eventually moved to New York, just outside of Niagara Falls.
Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez is survived by a son and daughter, seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren, and five great-great grandchildren.
Artura Licata, 111, of Italy is now the leading candidate to be recognized by Guinness as the world’s oldest man. Born May 2, 1902, Licata has been Italy’s oldest living man since the death of Giuseppe Mirabella on March 30, 2012. He has also been Europe’s oldest living man since the death of Francisco Fernandez-Fernandez on September 7, 2012.
The world’s oldest living person is a 115-year-old Japanese woman named Misao Okawa, who was born March 5, 1898.