World’s Oldest Man Celebrates Another Birthday Today
Bob Weighton, the world’s oldest man, is celebrating his birthday today.
At a whopping 112 years old, the Alton, Hampshire, gent has lived through five monarchs, 22 prime ministers two World Wars, Spanish flu and smallpox among many, many other events.
He took on the title of world’s oldest man last year, following the death of Chitetsu Watanabe in Japan. His advice for living a long, healthy life? ‘I don’t eat much meat and I only drink when I’m at a party.’
Bob entered the world on March 29, 1908, in Hull. King Edward VII was still reigning over Britain, while Herbert Asquith’s tenure as prime minister was soon to begin.
After studying mechanical engineering, Bob travelled the world, living in Taiwan, Canada and the US before returning to England in 1946 with his wife Agnes and three children. He also has 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. From there, he took a position as a lecturer at the City University of London before retiring in 1973.
Bob’s birthday – which he shares with Joan Hocquard, from Poole in Dorset, who also turned 112 today – has played host to a number of major events throughout history. For example, in 1927, as he turned 19, the Sunbeam 1000hp broke the land speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida.
At the age of 28, in 1936, he read the headlines as Adolf Hitler’s vice grip of Germany’s population solidified when he received 99% of the votes in the country’s election.
Fast forward to his 65th birthday, and Bob’s celebrations coincided with the last US soldiers departing South Vietnam. Just one year later, he shared in the world’s awe as NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first probe to fly past Mercury.
In 2002, as Bob turned 94, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield, the largest military operation in the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War, following a suicide bombing in Netanya. On a much lighter note, Bob’s 106th birthday in 2014 matched up with England and Wales’ first same-sex marriages.
Commenting on reaching such a remarkable age, Bob earlier told BBC News:
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. I have not lived my life avoiding being run over by buses or getting cancer or anything else. I’ve done nothing to deserve or achieve this age. I’m just one of the lucky ones.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, Bob’s birthday celebrations have been put on hold for the time being. However, staff at Brendoncare Alton Care Home – where he lives in an independent flat – said he’ll be having a relaxing day at home, chatting to friends and family over the phone and via FaceTime.
He also has the most well-kept secret to longevity: ‘Avoid dying.’
Happy birthday Bob, from all of us at UNILAD.
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