Saying Goodbye to Kimura – the Oldest Man Who Ever Lived


Jiroemon Kimura, who passed away at the remarkable age of 116
years 54 days, held a record that few of us ever have the chance of achieving:
the world's oldest living person. Perhaps more significantly, though,
Kimura-san achieved an even rarer accolade when, on December 28, 2012, he
became the oldest man who ever lived. As the oldest male whose age could be
reliably determined, Kimura succeeded Denmark's Thomas Peter Thorvald Kristian
Ferdinand "Christian" Mortensen, who reached 115 years 252 days in
April 1988, and became the first man to ever exceed 116 years. Kimura was born
in 1897, the same year as authors Enid Blyton and William Faulkner, aviator
Amelia Earhart, and jazz musician Fletcher Henderson. In the same year, Queen
Victoria celebrated her 60th anniversary on the British throne, and William
McKinley became President of the United States. The retired postal worker is
one of the few men known to have lived across three centuries, and would have
seen immense social and technological advances including the advent of motor
vehicles, television, powered flight, space travel and the internet, and seen
the accession of six U.K. monarchs, five Emperors of Japan, and 20 U.S.
Presidents. Only seven people are known to have ever reached the age of 116
years. Of these, only four went on to celebrate their 117th birthday, all of
them women. Among them was Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who reached the
record age of 122 years 164 days – the oldest person whose age has been fully
authenticated.



Note: Japan is the country with the most centenarians in the world per capita;
Okinawa has the highest concentration of centenarians, where the ratio is 50
per 100,000 people. Additionally, the record for the oldest average age is also
held by Japan, where the median age – that is, the age at which there are an
equal number of people above and below – is a record high of 44.7.
Source: EPA/Guinness Book of World Records

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