Imich, who says he owes his longevity to good genes and a moderate and healthy lifestyle, was born in in present-day Częstochowa, Poland, on Feb. 4, 1903. He and his wife, Wela, immigrated to the United States in 1953, where his wife died in 1986. Imich has been living alone in Manhattan since she died. [The World's 7 Weirdest World Records]
His motto, he told Guinness World Records, is that one should "always pursue what one loves and is passionate about."
This latest oldest-man record was verified after the passing of the prior record holder, Arturo Licata of Italy on April 24. Licata was 111 years and 357 days.
So what's the secret to such long lives? While plenty of research has focused on longevity and what makes centenarians stand out from those who don't make it to such an old age, no single fountain of youth has turned up. Even so, both genes and a healthy lifestyle do seem to play roles. In a study detailed in 2010 in the journal Science, researchers found 150 genetic markers could predict 77 percent of the time whether a person lived into their late 90s and beyond. Another study out in 2011 also points to longevity genes, as the study participants who were 95 and older lived no more virtuous lives than the general population when it came to healthy behaviors.
But don't grab the doughnut just yet. In 2012, researchers reported centenarians living in mountain villages on the island of Sicily adhered closely to the Mediterrranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while low in red mean and refined carbs.
Editor's Note: This article was updated to correct the references to Guinness World Records as such.
Source: livescience.com By Jeanna Bryner