The world’s oldest man, a gin rummy-playing, one-time sugarcane worker born in Spain, has died at 112 in New York state, a funeral home said on Saturday.
Salustiano “Shorty” Sanchez, recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest man, died on Friday at a nursing home in Grand Island, New York, the MJ Colucci & Son Funeral Chapels said on its website.
Guinness said in June that Sanchez, who also had been a construction worker, was the oldest man following the death of 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan.
Sanchez credited his longevity to eating one banana per day and taking Anacin daily, according to a recent Guinness online profile.
He told Guinness that living so long was not a special accomplishment.
Sanchez was born in El Tejado de Bejar, Spain, in 1901 and worked as a sugarcane field worker in Cuba before emigrating to the United States, where he found work in Kentucky coal mines.
Sanchez liked to garden, do crossword puzzles, and play gin rummy every night with friends, according to Guinness.
Sanchez was known for his musical talents as a boy, playing a dulzania, a Spanish double reed instrument related to the oboe, Guinness said. He went to school until age 10.
Sanchez moved to the Niagara Falls area of New York state in the early 1930s and became a construction worker. He worked for Union Carbide Co for more than 30 years before retiring.
He married his wife, Pearl, in 1934. Sanchez had two children, seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren, according to Guinness.
With his death, the world’s oldest man is Arturo Licata of Italy at 111, and the oldest woman is Misao Okawa of Japan at 115, according to the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks people 110 and older and validates ages for Guinness.
The greatest authenticated age for any human is 122 years, 164 days by Jeanne Louise Calment of France.