Obit of the Day: The World’s Oldest Man
Alexander Imich did not hold his title long. The Polish parapsychologist, who lived in Manhattan, was named the oldest living man after the death of Arturo Licata on April 24, 2014.
Born one month before the Wright Brothers first launched their plane at Kitty Hawk, Mr. Imich grew up in Poland. He developed an interest in the occult when he completed an investigated on a noted Polish medium known as “Madame J.” He became enthralled with the subject material and the scientist with the chemistry degree instead became a scholar of the paranormal and psychotherapy.
Fleeing to the Soviet-occupied portion of his homeland at the outbreak of World War II because of his Jewish roots, he and his wife were imprisoned in a labor camp. They were freed after the Nazis began their invasion of the U.S.S.R., and fled to Uzbekistan. After they war they returned to their home only to find that almost all of their friends and family were killed by the Germans in the Holocaust.
In 1951 they moved to Connecticut and he moved permanently to New York City in 1986, when his wife passed away. He was 83 years old and lived in the city for nearly 30 years.
Asked for the secret of his longevity, he gave credit to the fact that he never had children and never drank alcohol. When asked what it was like to be the oldest man in the world he answered a reporter that “I didn’t have time yet to think about it. I never thought I’d be that old.”
Mr. Imich died on June 8, 2014 at the age of 111 years, four months, and five days. It was reported that he was babbling in Russian and German, speaking with spirits that he saw around him.
With the death of Mr. Imich, the world’s oldest man is Sakari Mamoi, of Japan who is 111 years, 124 days as of June 9, 2014. There are 63 women who are older than Mr. Mamoi, the oldest of whom is Misao Okawa who is 116 years, 98 days. The oldest living U.S. citizen is Jeralean Talley at 115 years, 17 days.
Sources: NY Times (obit), NY Times (May 2014 article), and Wikipedia
(Image of Mr. Imich from 2007 when he was “only” 104 years old is from a NY Times “neediest cases” profile and copyright Tom Hicks/NY Times.)
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