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Giovanni Frau, 112; Italy's Oldest Man

June 22, 2003|From Associated Press

SARDINIA, Italy — Giovanni Frau, Italy's oldest man and the fourth-oldest man in the world, has died at the age of 112, his family said Friday.

Frau, a farmer who attributed his longevity to home-grown food, died in his sleep Thursday, his grandson, Raffaele Moi, told the Associated Press.

"He farmed all of his food. The bread he ate was his bread; the wine, from his vineyard," Moi said.

Born Dec. 29, 1890, Frau witnessed the turn of two centuries from his farm near the mountain village of Orroli, in the heart of Sardinia. He left his native island just once -- to serve in the military in World War I, for which he received a service medal.

Sardinia has a reputation for record-breaking longevity. Antonio Todde, who lived one town over from Frau, was considered the world's oldest man before his death in January 2002 just shy of his 113th birthday, according to Guinness World Records.

Sardinia also has the world's highest ratio of residents older than 100, according to Guinness.

Guinness also lists Frau as the world's fourth-oldest man, behind current leader Yukichi Chuganji, 114, of Japan.

The oldest woman in the world is believed to be 115-year-old Kamato Hongo of Japan.

Frau is survived by two sons and a daughter -- three of his eight children, Moi said. His wife died in 1995 at the age of 90.

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