JOAN Riudavets Moll, the world's oldest man, has died at his home in Minorca, at the age of 114.
Guinness World Records recognised him as the world's oldest man following the death of Japan's Yukichi Chuganji, also 114, in September.
Riudavets, who attributed his longevity to a life of moderation, was born on December 15, 1889 -- the year Hitler and Charlie Chaplin were born and the year the Eiffel Tower was completed. A shoemaker by trade, he had been retired for half a century.
He died at home in Es Migjorn Gran, Minorca, on Friday night, a police spokesman there said. “I spoke to him a few days ago and he had all his faculties,” the spokesman said. “He spoke and reasoned perfectly well without any problems. It was a natural death; he had not been ill.” Riudavets' grandson said he was still taking walks at the end of his life and was always surrounded by friends. “He nearly always had people around him and he had a great gift for words,” his eldest grandson, Pablo, said. “There were a lot of anecdotes.” The family said that he died peacefully.
Riudavets, who joined the family shoe-making business and retired in 1954, lived to see huge advances in medicine and science, but he never stopped marvelling at inventions like the aeroplane -first flown when he was a teenager -- and electricity. “The aeroplane was something incredible, but the most important change was electricity -- without doubt, it changed everything,” the Guinness Web site quoted him as saying. He attributed his long life to doing everything in moderation, including smoking “but not too much”.
He used to sleep up to 14 hours a day but also enjoyed playing football and the guitar.
He married in 1917 and his wife, who was born in 1889, died at the age of 90. He has two surviving children and two surviving brothers, Pere, aged 104, who also lives in Es Migjorn Gran, and Josep, 98, who lives in Palma.