World’s Oldest Man Alexander Imich Dies at 111

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By Sounak Mukhopadhyay | June 10, 2014 11:28 AM EST

Alexander Imich, the certified oldest man alive, passed away at 9:03 am on Sunday, June 8 in his Manhattan home at the age of 111. He used to live on the Upper West Side in New York.

REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files
111-year-old Alexander Imich holds a Guinness World Records certificate recognizing him as the world's oldest living man during an interview with Reuters at his home on New York City's upper west side in this May 9, 2014 file photo. Imich, who was born in Poland in 1903 and survived a Soviet Gulag, died on Sunday, said Marcy Levitt, executive director of Esplanade Manhattan.

According to NBC 4 New York, even Imich did not know the secret to his longevity. "I don't know, I simply didn't die earlier," he said in an interview in May, "I have no idea how this happened." The Gerontology Research Group of Torrance, California declared him as the oldest man in April. Imich, on the other hand, acknowledged that he had a healthy diet which included fish and chicken. He did not consume any alcohol. He also took part in swimming and gymnastics in his youth.

Born on February 4, 1903, Imich was even older than the New York City subway system. He was born in Poland. He ran away from his native country with his wife after the Nazi invasion in 1939. They arrived in the United States in the fifties and lived there for the rest of their life. His wife passed away in 1986. 1903, the year Imich was born, was also the same year when the Yankees played the first season in New York.

Imich was a parapsychologist and chemist. According to The Guardian, he attributed his longevity also to the fact that he had not had any children with his wife. His friend Michael Mannion accredited it to his "enormous curiosity and ability to turn even great adversity into something positive were important factors in his long life." "These qualities were evident even in his last weeks and days of life," Mannion said.

Since Imich in no more, the title of the oldest man alive will go to Japanese man Sakari Momoi who is also 111. He is just one day younger than Imich. Even though Imich was the oldest man on earth, he was hardly the oldest person alive. There are 66 women who are older than him. The oldest person alive is believed to be Misao Okawa. The Japanese woman is 116.

Contact the writer: s.mukhopadhyay@IBTimes.com.au

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(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar/Files / )
111-year-old Alexander Imich holds a Guinness World Records certificate recognizing him as the world's oldest living man during an interview with Reuters at his home on New York City's upper west side in this May 9, 2014 file photo. Imich, who was born in Poland in 1903 and survived a Soviet Gulag, died on Sunday, said Marcy Levitt, executive director of Esplanade Manhattan.
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