Oldest man in the world dies in Venezuela weeks before 115th birthday

The oldest man in the world has died just weeks before his 115th birthday, Guinness World Records said on Wednesday.  

Juan Vicente Pérez Mora held the title of the oldest living man for just a few short years. Guinness awarded him the distinction on Feb 4, 2022, when he was 112 years and 253 days, after Saturnino de la Fuente García died weeks earlier. He was the fourth oldest validated living person in the world and was reportedly the only man alive born before 1911.

At the time he credited his longevity to “working hard, resting on holidays, going to bed early, drinking a glass of aguardiente every day, loving God, and always carrying him in his heart.”  Faith was central to his life and he prayed at least twice daily, he told Guinness World Records, “He wants to be remembered as a hard-working man, faithful to his wife and his religion. “

Pérez was born on May 27, 1909, in Venezuela to Euquitio Pérez and Edelmira Mora and was living in Táchira state when he died. Governor Freddy Bernal said on X, “with deep sadness and pain we say goodbye to this archetype of Tachirense man, humble, hardworking, peaceful, enthusiastic about family and tradition.” 

He had 11 children –six sons and five daughters– with Ediofina del Rosario García. They were married for 60 years. Pérez had 42 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.  At the tender age of 5, he started working in agriculture. Pérez only attended school for a few short months but he learned how to read and write. In 1948 he became the sheriff in the town of Caricuena, where he resolved land and family disputes for ten years.

President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela also paid tribute to Pérez on social media, writing: “Juan Vicente Pérez Mora has transcended into eternity at 114 years old. I send my hugs and condolences to his family and to all the people of El Cobre, Táchira state. May God receive him in his holy glory.”

Gerontology Research Group said they are currently working to find the world’s oldest living man. Contenders are Japanese Gisaburō Sonobe, born on November 6, 1911, or Brazilian Josias de Oliveira, born on October 21, 1911. Both birth dates need to be confirmed before the title can be awarded, the group said.  

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