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World's Oldest Man Says He Made it to 111 Thanks to Good Genes

By Michael Mullins   |   Thursday, 22 May 2014 10:49 AM

The world's oldest man is 111-year-old Dr. Alexander Imich, a New York City resident who attributes his longevity to good genes and a healthy lifestyle.

Imich, a retired chemist and parapsychologist, officially received the honor from Guinness World Records earlier this week at his Upper West Side Manhattan residence.

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According to Guinness, Imich's motto for life was inspired by his work in parapsychology, which is, "Always pursue what one loves and is passionate about."

"Alex is happy with the attention but he's most happy when people recognize that he did a lot of work in the field of parapsychology," Michael Mannion, a friend of Imich's for 20 years, told the New York Daily News.

Born in what is present-day Częstochowa, Poland, Imich reportedly fled to the former Soviet Union after the Nazis invaded and seized control of his homeland. He and his wife then reportedly immigrated to New York City in 1951.

The 111-year-old widower, who has lived alone since his wife died in 1986, has replaced Italy's Arturo Licata as the oldest man alive. Licata died on April 24 at the ripe old age of 111 years and 357 days, the Daily News noted.

Prior to Licata being named the oldest living man, another New York City resident — Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez — was the world's oldest man at 112 years of age. A self-taught musician, coal miner, and gin rummy aficionado, Blazquez died in the Big Apple in September 2013.

Misao Okawa of Osaka, Japan, is the current the oldest person in the world at 116 years of age.

Japan consistently has one of the highest life expectancies, with men living, on average, 80 years and women living 87 years, according to a United Nations report.

A 2009 Health and Welfare Ministry in Japan found that there are over 40,000 living centenarians on the island nation.

According to the U.N., the United States rounds out the top 20 nations with the highest life expectancy with women living, on average, to 81, and men to 78.

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