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Obituaries

Antonio Todde, 112; World's Oldest Man

January 05, 2002|From Associated Press

TIANA, Sardinia — Antonio Todde, an Italian shepherd listed by the Guinness Book of Records as the world's oldest man, was found dead Friday morning, just shy of his 113th birthday.

Todde, who attributed his longevity to a glass of red wine every day, died in his sleep overnight in Tiana, Sardinia, said his nephew, Vanni Todde.

On Thursday, Antonio Todde had told his daughter he wasn't feeling well and refused food. "His heart just gave up," the nephew said.

Born Jan. 22, 1889, in a mountain village in the heart of Sardinia, Todde was a shepherd all his life. He left his native island just once, to serve in the military in World War I.

"Right up until the end, he lived like he always did without a fuss and showed a great love for his family," Vanni Todde said.

Todde inherited the Guinness title of oldest living man in December 2000, when American Benjamin Harrison Holcomb died in Carnegie, Okla., at 111.

Guinness lists the world's oldest woman as 114-year-old Maude Farris-Luse, who was born Jan. 21, 1887, in Morley, Mich.

On his 112th birthday last Jan. 22, Todde let the world in on the secret to his long life:

"Just love your brother and drink a good glass of red wine every day," Todde was quoted as saying then on Guinness' Web site. "You take one day after the other; you just go on."

Todde is survived by two sons; one daughter; a sister; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and other relatives, Vanni Todde said.

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