World’s Oldest Living Person to Mark 116th Birthday

By Suzan Clarke

Apr 19, 2013 6:00am

Jiroemon Kimura, the oldest living man in the world, turns 116 Friday, and he plans to have a modest celebration with his family in his Japanese home.

Kimura was born on April 19, 1897 – one year before the start of the Spanish-American War.

The supercentenarian from Japan’s Kyoto Prefecture in central Japan, worked as a mail carrier until his retirement when he was 65. Afterward, he reportedly worked as a farmer until he was 90.

Not only is Kimura the oldest person in the world, but he is the oldest Asian man ever and the last-known man to have lived across three centuries,  according to Guinness World Records.

The secret to Kimura’s longevity may be in his habits – he gets up early, reads the newspaper every day and never misses a meal – but it may also be in his genes. Kimura’s siblings were remarkably long-lived.  The Guardian newspapers reported that four of them lived past 90 years of age, and his youngest brother lived to be 100.

RELATED: World’s Oldest Living Man Turns 115

His living relatives include five children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and more than 12 great-great-grandchildren.

On his birthday last year, Kimura talked to reporters about his life.

“It is all thanks to the grace of God,” he said. “I have nothing but gratitude for the life I’ve been given.”

According to Guinness World Records, the oldest living woman in the world is Japan’s Misao Okawa. She was born in 1898.

The world record for the oldest verified age ever attained is held by Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who was born in 1875 and died in 1997, according to Guinness.

ABC News’ Akiko Fujita contributed to this report.

SHOWS:
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus