Alexander Imich, World's 'Oldest Man,' Dies at 111

Polish Holocaust Survivor Looked Ahead — Even in Last Days

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By Forward Staff

Published June 09, 2014.
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Alexander Imich, a Holocaust survivor cited as the world’s ‘oldest man,’ has reportedly died at 111.

Imich died peacefully at his home in a New York-area assisted living facility Sunday, NBC News reported.

Imich, who was born in Poland in 1903 and survived a Soviet Gulag, emigrated to the United States in the 1950s.

He turned 111 in February and assumed the “oldest living” title last month, according to the Gerontology Research Group of Torrance, California.

Imich was far from being the oldest living person, however. Sixty-six women are older than him, and the oldest of them, Misao Okawa of Japan, is 116.

A sparse eater whose favorite foods are chicken and chocolate, Imich said in a halting interview in his apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side that he credits good genes for his long life. His father, he said, lived into his 90s.

“But the life you live is equally or more important for longevity,” he said.

He grew up in a well-to-do family of secular Jews in Czestochowa in southern Poland.

Imich, who edited an anthology called “Incredible Tales of the Paranormal” in 1995 at the age of 92, recently said he was still thinking about unfinished business.

“There are things I would like to achieve,” he said. “But I’m not quite clear about what and how.”

He told the New York Times in April that holding the record for world’s oldest man is “Not like it’s the Nobel Prize” and that “I never thought I’d be that old.” He said he never drank alcohol. He and his wife, who died in 1986, never had any children.

Imich willed his body to the Mount Sinai Medical Center for study.

With Reuters and JTA


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