Jiroemon Kimura, the oldest person in the world, died on Wednesday, in Japan, at the age of 116. He lived in Kyotango near Kyoto in western Japan.
Kimura had been hospitalized during the last month for pneumonia.
He became the world’s oldest person on December 17, 2012, after the former title holder, a 115-year-old woman from Iowa died, according to Guinness World Records.
Until recently, Kimura had been the last living person born in the 19th century. He was born in 1897, the year Queen Victoria marked her Diamond Jubilee. He worked as a postal employee and as a farmer at his home, according to the international press.
Last year, on his 115th birthday, Kimura said he is keeping his mind in shape by learning English. He said the secret for his long life was the fact that he never used to eat enough to feel full. He also attributed his longevity to getting out in the sunlight.
“I am always looking up towards the sky. That is how I am,” Kimura said then.
Kimura had seven children, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren, and 15 great-great-grandchildren, Japanese media said.
Japan has more than 50,000 centenarians, 2011 government data showed, reinforcing its reputation for longevity.