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Oldest Living Man Dies Days Before Turning 114,
111-Year-Old Takes Title
End of unusual era when oldest man and woman were
20, 2004 - The world’s oldest living man, Fred Hale, Sr., died in his
sleep Friday, while battling pneumonia. He would have celebrated his
114th birthday on Dec. 1. He drew national attention earlier this year
for his devotion to the World Champion Boston Red Sox.
Hale was recognized by the Gerontology Research
Group at the UCLA School of Medicine and the Guinness Book of World
Records on March 5, as the oldest living man, when he was 113 years and
95 days old. He succeeded Spain's Joan Riudavets Moll.
How Long Men Live May Depend on Their Parents,
March 22, 2004 - How
long a man lives is partially determined by his childhood conditions
and experience, according to an extensive study.
Bad Month for Oldest Living
World's Oldest Person Dies, As Do Oldest Men,
Nov. 2, 3003 - October was a bad month for
old-age record holders. The oldest living woman, oldest man and oldest
American all died. More...
114 year old was only 92!
Maybe he told them how old he
March 2, 2004 - Maybe he misunderstood
the question. When they asked him how old he was, perhaps he
answered with how old he felt. Anyway, William Coates who was
reported to be 114 when he died last week, was really only 92 – a
youngster among the oldest living people tracked by the Gerontology
They report that U.S. Census records reveal Coates’ true age. The GRG, a
nonprofit organization, keeps what it says is a carefully documented roster of
people 110 or older.
When told he was the world's oldest man, he
reportedly said, "I don't believe it. And I ain't going to die just to
Hale was born Dec. 1, 1890 in New Sharon, Maine. He
retired as a railway postal clerk in 1957. He lived most of his life in
Maine. The Guinness record notes that in the year of his birth the world
also saw the Battle of Wounded Knee, Jack the Ripper stalking London,
and Arthur Conan Doyle starting to write his Sherlock Holmes stories.
Guinness also notes he had seen 21 U.S. presidents
and that he was also recorded as the world’s oldest driver – his license
does not expire until 2008. He was able to cut the cake at his 113th
birthday, according to his 83-year-old son, Fred Jr.
Hale gave credit for his longevity to bee pollen
and honey that he ate daily. He also enjoyed an occasional nip of
whiskey in the morning, according to the Associated Press
The oldest living woman recognized by Guinness is
Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan of Puerto Rico, which meant that, for
only the second time ever, the world's oldest living man and oldest
living woman both were U.S. citizens.
to Guinness record page)
Haled died in a suburb of Syracuse, New York, at
below is an excerpt from a column about him by Syracuse Post-Standard
columnist Sean Kirst.
“Around the world, Fred Hale Sr. will be eulogized
in this way: The oldest man in the world was a Boston Red Sox fan who
kept waiting, year after year, to see his team win it all.
“This autumn, barely a month short of his 114th
birthday, Hale finally got to enjoy that Red Sox title. He died in his
sleep Friday at The Nottingham in DeWitt, just 23 days after that World
Series triumph, as if it left him free to say farewell.
“It makes for one more fitting tale about these
already legendary Sox, except that it isn't altogether true.
“Yes, Hale cared about the team. But it would be
inaccurate to say the Red Sox were his greatest passion. Hale, for
instance, did not specifically remember the last Red Sox championship in
1918, a World Series played when he was 27 years old. He came to his
loyalty later in his life, and he began to follow the Red Sox for the
most familiar of reasons:
His wife, Flora, was a fan. Until her death in
1979, she'd often listen to the games in the living room of their home
in Maine. Their five children joined the Red Sox nation due mainly to
their mother's loyalty. As the children grew up, Hale noticed the way
they all cared about the team, and he ended up going to his share of
games at Fenway Park.
More of the column in the Syracuse Post-Standard
Hale outlived his wife and three of his five
children. He had nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and 11
The world’s oldest living man is now Hermann
Dornemann, of Germany, age 111. There are 26 living women older than
him, according to Gerontology Research Group.
A funeral service for Hale will be held Tuesday at
Hobbs Funeral Home in South Portland. He’ll be buried in Farmington,
AP story with photo
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