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World’s oldest man dies two months before 115th birthday

Juan Vicente Perez died this week at the age of 114 (NurPhoto/Shutterstock)
Juan Vicente Perez died this week at the age of 114 (NurPhoto/Shutterstock)

The world’s oldest man has died two months before his 115th birthday, as local officials paid tribute to his “optimism for life”.

Juan Vicente Perez, from Venezuela, died this week at the age of 114, having been confirmed as the world’s oldest living man by Guinness World Records when he was aged 112 years and 253 days on 4 February 2022.

Mr Perez lived through two World Wars and the Covid pandemic, and was married for 60 years to Ediofina del Rosario Garcia, until she died in 1997.

Born on 27 May 1909, Mr Perez attributed his long life to “working hard, resting on holidays, going to bed early, drinking a glass of aguardiente [a strong liquor] every day, loving God, and always carrying him in his heart”.

He and Ms Garcia had 11 children, including six sons and five daughters. They later had 42 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.

He celebrated his 110th birthday in 2019, becoming the first male supercentenarian from Venezuela.

Freddy Bernal, the governor of Tachira, Venezuela, where Mr Perez lived, wrote on X: “Our dear Juan Vicente Perez Mora, today with deep sadness and pain we say goodbye to you, to that archetype of a man from Tachira, humble, hard-working, peaceful, enthusiastic about family and tradition.”

He added: “My old Don Vicente, we will always remember him for his optimism in life, for faith, hope and that deep love for our state of Tachira.

“He will always be a symbol of goodness, wisdom and joy, which is why his legacy will live forever in our hearts and in our lives. Rest in peace my dear old man, my Don Juan Vicente. We will never forget you.”

President Nicholas Maduro wrote: “Juan Vicente Perez Mora has transcended into eternity at 114 years old, from the town of El Cobre he gave Venezuela the Guinness Record for being the oldest man in the world.

“I send my hug and condolences to his family and to all the people of El Cobre, Tachira state. May God receive him in his holy glory!”

The world’s next oldest living man is expected to be Gisaburo Sonobe of Japan, who is aged 112, pending confirmation from his family, Guinness World Records said.