NEW YORK – When you live to be 111 years old, it’s difficult not to have at least some interesting stories to tell, like one man, living in the Upper West Side of New York, does.
Alexander Imich has been officially named the world’s oldest living man, after the previous record-holder, Arturo Licata of Italy, died on April 24 at 111 years and 357 days old, according to the New York Times. And in Imich’s many, many years he has seen a lot of things change in the world he lives in.
“I didn’t have time yet to think about it,” Imich told the New York Times during an interview last week. “I never thought I’d be that old.”
According to Imich, the invention of “the aeroplane” was the greatest invention during his entire lifetime. He also remembers seeing an automobile roll into his hometown for the very first time. He was even alive when President William McKinley was killed and Teddy Roosevelt took office prior to running for his own presidency.
Imich was born in Poland, where he encountered many hardships due to his Jewish heritage. He fought in the Polish-Soviet war, and dreamed of becoming a Polish Navy captain, although he was told back then to “forget it” because of his religion. He escaped the Holocaust, and later chose to study and earn a doctorate in chemistry.
Imich later found an interest in the paranormal and scientifically detailed his experiences in a German scholarly journal in 1932. After immigrating to the United States, he later wrote and published a book at the age of 92 which referred to his earlier findings on the subject. He also says this was the age at which he “mastered” the computer.
Those around Imich say despite his age, he’s on a never ending quest to learn all he can in his life. He says that in death he plans to learn about everything he didn’t while living.
When asked what the key is to living such a long and full life, Imich credits good genes and athletics. He said he was a gymnast, runner, and a good swimmer. And although he used to smoke, he says he gave it up years ago, and also says he’s never drank alcohol, He also says he and his wife never had children.
CLICK HERE to read more about Alexander Imich from the New York Times.