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'World's Oldest Man' Has Died Aged 116

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'World's Oldest Man' Has Died Aged 116

A South African thought to be the world's oldest man has died aged 116.

Fredie Blom was born in Eastern Cape in May 1904, according to identity documents - although, his claim was never officially verified by the Guinness World Records.

Blom said that while he was a teen, he saw his entire family killed by the Spanish flu, but he not only managed to survive the 1918 pandemic, but go on to live through two World Wars and apartheid.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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He spent most of his life working as a labourer, on a farm before moving into the construction industry. Incredibly, he didn't retire until he was in 80s.

Speaking to the BBC in 2018, Blom said there was no secret to his long life and admitted that he was even a regular smoker throughout his life.

He told the BBC: "There's only one thing - it's the man above. He's got all the power. I have nothing. I can drop over any time but He holds me."

He added: "Every day I still smoke two to three 'pills' [a local slang word for tobacco tightly rolled into a small piece of newspaper].

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"I use my own tobacco because I don't smoke cigarettes.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"The urge to smoke is so strong. Sometimes I tell myself I'm going to stop but it's just me lying to myself. My chest chases me to have a puff and I'm then forced to make a 'pill'.

Blom's family told the AFP news agency that he had died of natural causes in Cape Town on Saturday.

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Andre Naidoo said on behalf of the family: "Two weeks ago oupa [grandfather] was still chopping wood. He was a strong man, full of pride."

But he said within in a few days he went 'from a big man to a small person'.

He added that they family do not believe Blom's death was related to the coronavirus and said it was a 'normal natural death'.

According to the Guinness World Records, the oldest ever person was Jeanne Louise Calment who lived to be 122 years and 164 days.

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The title of oldest man goes to Jiroemon Kimura, from Japan, who was 116 years and 54 days.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News

Claire Reid
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