When Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez was born, England’s Queen Victoria had just died, William McKinley was the American president, and World War I was still more than a decade away.
Today, he’s still going strong at 112 – and was just confirmed by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living man, following the death of Japan’s Jiroemon Kimura at age 116 in June.
Born in Spain in 1901, Sanchez-Blazquez emigrated to Cuba in 1918 and eventually reached the U.S. through Ellis Island in 1920.
He worked for years in the coal mines of Lynch, Ky., before moving north and settling in the Niagara Falls region of western New York, outside Buffalo. He married the love of his life, Pearl, in 1934. His children include a 76-year-old son, John, and 69-year-old daughter, Irene. He also has seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
Sanchez-Blazquez is said to be a humble man who doesn’t feel he’s accomplished anything special simply because he’s lived so long. “His family and friends think otherwise,” Guinness says.
Salustiano credits his longevity to eating a banana a day and taking a daily Anacin. His hobbies over the years have included gardening, crossword puzzles and nightly games of gin rummy with friends.