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World's oldest man dies aged 114 in Venezuela

Juan Vicente Perez (AFP via Getty Images)
Juan Vicente Perez (AFP via Getty Images)

The world's oldest man, who has 42 grandchildren, has died at the age of 114.

Juan Vicente Perez, from Venezuela, died just two months short of his 115th birthday.

He was was confirmed to be the world's oldest living man by Guinness World Records when he was aged 112 years and 253 days on 4 February 2022.

He was born on 27 May 1909, and had been married to Ediofina del Rosario Garcia for 60 years until she died in 1997.

The father of 11 said the secret to his long life was "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 had six sons and five daughters, 42 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren and 12 great-great-grandchildren.

Mr Perez lived through two World Wars and the COVID pandemic during with elderly people were considered more vulnerable to serious disease.

"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."

Freddy Bernal, the governor of Tachira, the region 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 of Venezuela Nicholas Maduro tweeted: "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 tipped to be Gisaburo Sonobe of Japan, who is aged 112, pending confirmation from his family, Guinness World Records said.