TOKYO - Jiroemon Kimura, a 115-year-old man born when Queen Victoria still reigned over the British Empire, became the oldest man in recorded history Friday, according to record keepers.
Kimura, of Kyotango in western Japan, was born April 19, 1897, according to Guinness World Records. That makes him 115 years and 253 days as of Friday, breaking the longevity record for men held by Christian Mortensen of California, who died in 1998 at 115 years and 252 days. The oldest woman in recorded history, Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, died in 1997 at 122.
"He has an amazingly strong will to live," Kimura's nephew Tamotsu Miyake, 80, said. "He is strongly confident that he lives right and well."
Kimura is among 22 Japanese on a list of the world's 64 oldest people compiled by the Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group. With the world's highest life expectancy, Japan's average at birth is 83 years, a figure projected to exceed 90 for women by 2050.
In Minnesota, Anna Stoehr now is the 25th-oldest person in the world and 10th-oldest American. Born on Oct. 15, 1900, she is 112 years and 113 days and lives in a farmhouse at the edge of Potsdam.