For most people, living up to the age of 70 or 80 is an acceptable and thankful duration of existence showered upon them. However, for a handful of people the term 'ripe age' extends not just beyond 70, 80, or 90 years of age, but well over 100. Emilio Flores Márquez was one such person and was the holder of the Guinness World Record for the oldest person living (male) at 113. Sadly, he passed away recently, leading to the search for his successor.
Guinness World Records announced that Márquez, who was fondly known as "Don Millo" passed away on 12 August 2021, only four days after celebrating his 113th birth. The centenarian from Puerto Rico ascribed his longevity to "a compassionate life".
"Passing at the remarkable age of 113 years old, Millo, as he was known, is only the second man from Puerto Rico confirmed to have exceeded 111 years, and he was a father figure for his beloved country, if not the world. He was blessed with a positive and loving outlook on life and appreciated the importance of family," said Craig Glenday, Editor-in-Chief, Guinness World Records, in a statement.
Compassionate Living for Long Life
Márquez was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, on 8 August 1908 to Alberto Flores Melendez and Margarita Márquez-Garcia. He was the second of the 11 children that the couple had together. Márquez was a World War II veteran and helped his father on the family's sugarcane farm.
"My dad raised me with love, loving everyone. He always told me and my brothers to do good, to share everything with others!" Don Millo told Guinness World Records. He was confirmed to be the holder of the title on 30 June 2021, at the age of 112 years and 326 days old.
"I'm pleased to say that we were able to honour Sr. Márquez's record-breaking age in Guinness World Records 2022, and to share his story with the world. We also had the opportunity to connect with his family, who received the official GWR certificate on his behalf," expressed Glenday.
A Very Elite Club
Along with being only the second Puerto Rican confirmed to have lived for over 111 years, Don Millo also held another distinction. "Emilio Flores Márquez is the last validated man confirmed to have been born in 1908 and one of the twenty oldest males on record, all-time," noted Robert Young, Senior Gerontology Consultant, Guinness World Records.
With Don Millo's passing, the search for his successor is underway. Researchers have already begun the process of confirming the next holder of the title and more information on the pursuit will follow soon the statement said.
Had Márquez lived for a little over 3 more years, he would have become the oldest man ever to be confirmed to have lived. Born on 19 April 1897, Jiroemon Kimura from Japan is the oldest man ever. He passed away on 12 June 2013 at the age of 116 years and 54 days.
Jeanne Calment from France is the oldest person to have known to have lived. She was 122 years and 164 days old at the time of her death. Kane Tanaka of Japan is currently not only the oldest woman but also the oldest person in the world. She is 118 years and 242 days old.