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Tyburn
06-20-2009, 11:35 AM
Tomoji Tanabe, the world's oldest man, has died in his sleep at his home in southern Japan at the age of 113.
"He died peacefully. His family members were with him," said Junko Nakao, a city official in Miyakonojo on Japan's southern island of Kyushu.
Mr Tanabe died of heart failure, she said.
Mr Tanabe, who was born on September 18, 1895, had eight children -- five sons and three daughters.
The former city land surveyor also had 25 grandchildren, 53 great-grandchildren, and six great-great-grandchildren, according to a statement from the Miyakonojo city.
He was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's oldest man when he was 111 years old.
Mr Tanabe lived with his fifth son and daughter-in-law.
His favourite meals were fried shrimp and Japanese miso soup with clams, the statement said. Mr Tanabe drank milk every morning and read the newspaper. He also avoided alcohol and did not smoke, the statement said.
The city's mayor, Makoto Nagamine, said Mr Tanabe was "the symbol of the Miyakonojo known as a city of long life. "I feel very saddened by his death," Mr Nagamine said in a statement. "He cheered many citizens."
There are several surviving women known to be older than Mr Tanabe. Gertrude Baines of California, at 115, is thought to be the world's oldest living person