Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Henry Allingham, Oldest Man, dies at 113

"Cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women" finally take their toll on world's oldest man.

Henry Allingham, the oldest surviving veteran of World War I, passes away after a short period as the world's oldest living man.

Henry (b. 6 June 1896), whose remarkable life spanned three centuries and six monarchs – and who saw the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic and the first Moon landings – has died peacefully from natural causes at his care home in Ovington, near Brighton, UK. He leaves behind five grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great-grandchildren and one great-great-great-grandchild.

"We never had the opportunity to meet Henry and award him his Guinness World Records™ certificate," said Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief. "It was only a month ago that he took the title of oldest living man – indeed, we were in Barcelona printing the UK edition of the 2010 book when we heard the news of Henry's achievement, and to make sure we recognized this fantastic character, we stopped the presses, updated the record and printed new copies with Henry's photograph. I'm pleased we were able to honour Henry and provide this lasting tribute to such an inspirational man."

When asked his secret to long life, Henry joked, tongue in cheek: "Cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women – and a good sense of humour." He also swore by a diet of jellied eels, his favourite food.

The title of world's oldest living man will now most likely fall to American Walter Breuning, who was born on 21 September 1896. Guinness World Records will make a formal announcement as soon as the record has been verified by Senior Gerontology Consultant Robert Young.

Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief
18 July 2009

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