Manhattan miracle supercentenarian Alexander Imich has died at the age of 111 after a brief but celebrated stint as the world’s oldest man, his grandniece confirmed.
Born in Poland in February 4, 1903, the retired chemist had been living at the Esplanade, a senior home on New York’s Upper West Side, since 1986.
In April, Imich was the subject of a New York Times profile exploring his extraordinary life (he could recall the first car in his Polish hometown, which he fled when Nazis invaded in 1939) and his longevity, which he partly attributed to his childlessness. In photos taken for the Times, Imich appears gaunt but hardly a day over 90, with a head of white hair and a sizable beard.
The following month, the Guinness World Records named him the world’s oldest living man (but not the world’s oldest person, as more than 60 women exceeded him in age). That title, as is commonly the case, did not last for long; the seat is now said to be occupied by Sakari Momoi, a Japanese man who was born one day after Imich.
The oldest living person, Misao Okawa, also of Japan, exceeds Momoi in age by nearly five years. Born on March 5, 1898, she is believed to be one of just five living people born in the 19th century. They are all women.
The Esplanade, where Imich reportedly spent part of last week "speaking Polish and Russian to spirits he felt were around him," declined to comment when reached by phone.