World's Oldest Man Bob Weighton Dies at 112 from Cancer: 'A Role Model to Us All'
Bob Weighton, the world's oldest living man, has died, his family confirmed. He was 112.
Weighton's family announced in a statement that the centenarian died "peacefully in his sleep" at his home in Alton, Hampshire, England on Thursday morning after a battle with cancer, according to the Evening Standard.
"With great sadness, the Weighton family announces the death of our beloved Bob Weighton," the statement read, according to the Standard. "Bob was an extraordinary man, and to the family not really because of the amazing age he reached. A role model to us all, he lived his life interested in and engaged with all kinds of people from across the world."
Weighton's family recalled how he "viewed everyone as his brother or sister and believed in loving and accepting and caring for one another," and "had many, many friendships."
Up until his death, they said Weighton "read and talked politics, theology, ecology and more," and also "cared greatly for the environment."
"We are so grateful that until the very end Bob remained our witty, kind, knowledgeable, conversationalist father, grandfather and great grandfather, and we will miss him greatly," the family added.
Weighton was born in Kingston-upon-Hull on March 29, 1908 — the same year that the first affordable car, the Ford Model T, entered production, according to Guinness World Records.
He went on to become an engineer, working in Taiwan (where he also taught at a school in the 1930s), Japan, and Canada.
In 1937, Weighton married his wife Agnes in Hong Kong and they went on to have three children — David, Peter, and Dorothy — Guinness World Records reported.
He moved with his family to the U.S., where he worked in a Connecticut factory that made airplanes for Britain to help them fight the war. While there, he also worked closely with the American Secret Service, according to Guinness World Records.
Weighton later moved back to England once the war had ended and began teaching at City University, London.
In February, shortly before he was officially named the world's oldest man, Weighton explained why he didn't consider the new title to be thrilling.
"I don’t really feel satisfied because it means someone else has died," he told the BBC, adding, "I just accept it as a fact. It's not something I ever intended, wanted or worked for but it’s just one of those facts of life. You might find it amazing but it’s just one of those things."
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Weighton celebrated his final birthday and officially earned the title in late March, though he was unable to go anywhere because of the coronavirus lockdown.
At the time, he noted how the "world is in a bit of a mess," according to the Evening Standard.
Guinness World Records said on its website it was unable to send an adjudicator to meet Weighton in person to celebrate, but sent him a certificate and arranged for the assisted living home where he lived to sing "Happy Birthday" on his balcony.
In the wake of his death, Craig Glenday, the Editor-in-Chief of Guinness World Records, issued a statement and expressed his condolences.
"It's sad having to say goodbye to Robert so soon after awarding him his certificate for oldest living man. I feel honoured in having had the chance to meet this unique individual - albeit virtually - and to celebrate his life in the pages of our book," Glenday said. "Our thoughts are with this family, who I hope will see his entry as a lasting memorial to a remarkable man."
In addition to his three children, Weighton is survived by his 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren.
Guinness World Records said it is currently investigating who will take over the title for the oldest man alive and will release more information upon confirmation.