111-Year-Old Brit Who Said Secret to Life Was ‘To Avoid Dying’ Is Now the World’s Oldest Man

Claudia Harmata
111-Year-Old Brit Who Said Secret to Life Was ‘To Avoid Dying’ Is Now the World’s Oldest Man

Bob Weighton, an 111-year-old former teacher and engineer from Hampshire, England, is now the world’s oldest living man, according to multiple reports.

The supercentenarian is expected to be named the new record holder by Guinness World Records following the death of 112-year-old Chitetsu Watanabe on Sunday, which came days after the late Japanese man was awarded his certificate for the title, according to the BBC and The Guardian.

“I don’t really feel satisfied because it means someone else has died,” Weighton told the BBC of his new title, adding, “I just accept it as a fact. It’s not something I ever intended, wanted or worked for but it’s just one of those facts of life.”

“You might find it amazing but it’s just one of those things,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Guinness World Records told PEOPLE that they are currently investigating to confirm title of world’s oldest living man following Watanabe’s death.

“Further information will follow soon upon confirmation of the next record-holder,” the spokeswoman said.

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Weighton was reportedly born in Hull on March 29, 1908 — the same year that the first affordable car, the Ford Model T, entered production. He went on to become an engineer, working in Taiwan (where he also taught at a school in the 1930s), Japan and Canada.

His secret to living a long life, the Brit jokes, is “to avoid dying,” though he admits that he hasn’t lived his life “avoiding being run over by buses or getting cancer or anything else,” the BBC reported.

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“I have had the usual scares, flu, influenza, malaria, two or three operations,” he told The Evening Standard last year. “I ought to be dead but I am a survivor, if you like.”

The 111-year-old also reportedly holds the titles for both England’s oldest man and Britain’s oldest man, and shares the title of Britain’s oldest person with Joan Hocquard, from Poole, Dorset. She and Weighton share the same birthday.

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The father of three told The Standard that he’s watched the world change “enormously” in his lifetime. However, humans seem to have stayed the same.

“Visually and in physical terms, it’s changed enormously, [but] in what human beings are — not at all,” he said. “The basic concerns of human beings of meeting and interacting with other human beings is exactly the same.”

And “promoting” those human interactions is the “motive” of his life.

“I quite like meeting people I have never seen before, that’s one of my delights,” he said. “I like meeting people who have been places and have some understanding of what it means to be human.”