Born in Salamanca, Spain in 1901, and now living in the USA, 112-year-old Salustiano Sánchez Blázquez has now been announced the world's oldest man, as Japan's Jiroemon Kimura passed away on June 12 at the age of 116.
Now officially named the oldest living man on Earth by the Guinness Book of Records, Blázquez has credited his longevity to a combination of pain killers and bananas.
Succeeding Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, who died on June 12 at the age of 116, Blázquez is currently the only male born in 1901 with proof of birth, giving him the award of being the oldest man alive.
Nicknamed Shorty by his friends, the 112-year-old former coal miner now lives close to Niagara Falls in upstate New York in the US.
However, he was born on June 8, 1901 in the village of El Tejado de Béjar in Salamanca province, Spain. As he was growing up, Blázquez was well known for his musical prowess, playing a "dulzaina", (a Spanish double reed instrument in the oboe family).
Blázquez earned pocket money playing the instrument at weddings and village celebrations and attended school until he was 10. He now considers himself self-taught.
At the age of 17, he moved to Cuba to work on the sugar plantations. He then traveled to the US, entering via the iconic immigration center on Ellis Island in 1920.
Blázquez worked as a miner in Kentucky before finally settling in the Niagara area, close to the Canadian border, where he has lived ever since. Blázquez married the love of his life, Pearl, in 1934 and his children include a 76-year-old son, John, and 69-year-old daughter Irene. He also has seven grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.
His hobbies include crossword puzzles, nightly gin rummy games with friends and gardening.
He remains humble despite the prestigious award and “does not feel he has accomplished anything special because he happens to be living longer than other men.”
In a statement, Blázquez said that he had lived to such an old age due to a daily dose of six tablets of Anacin (a pain-reliever containing aspirin and caffeine) and a banana.
However, his daughter, 69-year-old Irene Johnson, says, "I think it's just because he's an independent, stubborn man."
Anacin's manufacturer, Insight Pharmaceuticals was happy to hear that their product may have helped him live so long and will now be exploring the possibility of a new product:
"Historically, apples are the fruit most associated with staying healthy and avoiding doctors," said marketing vice-president Jennifer Moyer.
"Our scientists had never looked into the banana before. But now that the certified oldest man in the world credits bananas and Anacin as his life-extending combo, we're certainly going to explore whether a new 'Bananacin' product makes sense.