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World's oldest man dies at 116

Former postman and farmer, born in 1897, put his longevity down to getting out in the sun.

Last Modified: 12 Jun 2013 13:04
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Kimura worked as a postal employee and as a farmer at his home [Reuters]

The world's oldest person and oldest man ever, Japanese Jiroemon Kimura, has died aged 116.

Kimura, who lived in Kyotango near Kyoto in western Japan, died on Wednesday after suffering a bout of pneumonia.

Guinness World Records had recognised him as the world's oldest living person, the oldest living man and the oldest man ever. He died of natural causes.

He became the world's oldest person on December 17, 2012, after the previous oldest person, a 115-year-old woman from Iowa died, according to Guinness World Records.

Kimura was born in 1897, the same year as aviator Amelia Earhart and the year Queen Victoria marked her Diamond Jubilee.

He worked as a postal employee and as a farmer at his home. On his 115th birthday, Kimura said he was keeping his mind fit by learning English. He attributed his longevity to getting out in the sunlight.

"I am always looking up towards the sky. That is how I am," Kimura said then.

Kimura is survived by seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren. 

The title of oldest living person is now another Japanese, Misao Okawa of Osaka, who turned 115 on March 5. She is also the world's oldest living woman.

Japan has more than 50,000 centenarians, 2011 government data shows.

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