Jiroemon Kimura, 116, Guinness’s oldest man

Jiroemon Kimura was born before two century turns.
2012 file
Jiroemon Kimura was born before two century turns.

TOKYO — Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura, recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest man in recorded history, has died at the age of 116.

Mr. Kimura died at 2:08 a.m. Wednesday of natural causes in a hospital in his hometown of Kyotango, the local government said in a faxed statement.

Born April 19, 1897, when Queen Victoria still reigned in the British Empire, Mr. Kimura dodged childhood killers such as tuberculosis and pneumonia that kept life expectancy in Japan to 44 years at the time of his birth. He became the oldest man in recorded history Dec. 28, 2012. The oldest woman in recorded history, Jeanne Calment of France, died in 1997 at the age of 122.


“He has an amazingly strong will to live,” Mr. Kimura’s nephew Tamotsu Miyake, 80, said in an interview in December.

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The world’s oldest living person. That title now goes to Misao Okawa of Japan, who was born March 5, 1898, according to a list compiled by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group.

Mr. Kimura worked at post offices for 45 years until his retirement in 1962 at the age of 65. After retiring, he enjoyed reading newspapers and watching sumo wrestling on television and sometimes helped his son farm until he was about 90 years old, his grandson’s widow, Eiko Kimura, said in December.

Mr. Kimura’s living descendants in December included five children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 13 great- great-grandchildren.