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115-year-old man becomes oldest man in history

115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura with representatives from the Guinness World Records.
115-year-old Jiroemon Kimura with representatives from the Guinness World Records.
/© AP

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It may be difficult to fit 116 candles on a birthday cake, but the loved ones of Jiroemon Kimura, the oldest man in recorded history, may have to do exactly that as the 115-year-old Japanese citizen inches closer to his next birthday. Kimura was born on April 10th, 1897 in Kamiukawa, Japan when Queen Victoria still reigned over the British Empire, according to birth records. As of December 17, 2012 he is the oldest man currently living, according to Guinness. Japan is home to many of the world’s oldest people and the remote Japanese island of Okinawa has one of the top three oldest populations worldwide.

Residents of Loma Linda, California also regularly live for more than 100 years, making it one of the oldest populations in the world as well. Many health experts attribute the longevity of Loma Linda’s population to their healthy diet and lifestyle.

The oldest living person on record was a French woman named Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.

What explains extraordinary longevity? What can be done to improve the likelihood of living for more than 100 years? Why do people in certain communities live significantly longer than others?


Mark Lachs, M.D. , Director of Geriatrics for the New York Presbyterian Health Care System; physician, scientist, and gerontologist at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City; author of What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Getting Older: An Insider’s Survival Manual for Outsmarting the Health-Care System

Jay Olshansky, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health