24 June 2009

RIP: Tomoji Tanabe

Tomoji Tanabe
18 Sep 1895 - 19 Jun 2009

The world's oldest man has died. ZUI this article from The Mainichi Daily News:
Tomoji Tanabe, the world's oldest man, died at the age of 113 on Friday morning at his home here [in Miyakonojo, Miyazaki, Japan].

Tanabe, who died of chronic heart failure, became the oldest male in Japan in June 2006, and was listed in the Guinness Book of Records in January 2007 as the oldest living man on earth.


Tanabe had eight children, 25 grandchildren, 52 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren. The funeral service is scheduled on Sunday.

At the time of his death Tanabe was the seventh-oldest person in the world and the third-oldest in Japan. He is the second supercentenarian listed by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG) to die since the death of John Ross and Shitsuko Araki on 11 March; the other was Carolina Peretti-Scaramelli (21 Oct 1897-15 Jun 2009) of Italy.

The GRG's list of validated living supercentenarians (people who have reached their 110th birthday) currently includes 80 people (6 men and 74 women), ranging from 115-year-old Gertrude Baines of California (born 6 Apr 1894) to Grazia-Giovanna Carbonaro-Pitrolo of Italy (born 5 Apr 1899); twenty of them (19 women and one man) live in Japan.

The oldest man in the world is now Henry Allingham, the world's 12th-oldest person, who celebrated his 113th birthday on 6 June. ZUI this article from The Telegraph:
Air Mechanic First Class Allingham, at 113, has become the oldest man on the planet after Tomoji Tanabe, just a few months his elder, died in his sleep yesterday.

The oldest surviving member of the Armed Forces holds a clutch of honours, including the British War Medal, Victory Medal and the Legion d'Honneur – the highest military honour awarded by France.

In his personal life, Mr Allingham was married to his late wife Dorothy for more than half a century and heads a dynasty which includes his great-great-great grandchild.

He once attributed his grand age to "cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women".


He was initially persuaded to remain at home by his mother but in September 1915, after her death, he joined the Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) and was sent to France, maintaining seaplanes.


He is now the last founder member of the RAF and the only remaining survivor of the infamous Battle of Jutland off the Danish coast in 1916.

He had a miraculous escape from his ship, the Kingfisher, when a German shell heading directly for it bounced over the top.

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