A former sugar cane farmer in Puerto Rico has been confirmed as the world’s oldest man by Guinness World Records, just a few weeks shy of his 113th birthday.
Emilio Flores Márquez was born on August 8, 1908, in Carolina, Puerto Rico, making him 112 years and 326 days old as of Wednesday, when Guinness World Records announced the record.
Growing up, Márquez, who was the second oldest of 11 children, was in charge of many household chores and helped take care of his younger siblings.
As the first-born son, Márquez also helped on his father’s sugar cane farm – starting when he was a young boy – and would water the plants and load cut sugar cane into wagons for transport, according to a news release from Guinness World Records.
“I was the oldest of the children, so I did everything,” Márquez told Guinness World Records. “I scrubbed, I took care of the boys, I did everything.”
He continued farm, “eventually becoming the way he supported his family,” according to Guinness World Records.
Márquez was married to Andrea Perez for 75 years until her death in 2010. The couple had four children. He also has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren, according to Guinness World Records.
He now lives in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, with his two surviving children, Tirsa and “Millito.”
Márquez, who has lost most of his hearing, had surgery to implant a pacemaker when he was 101 years old – but he is still strong and in good health, the news release said.
Known as “Don Millo,” Márquez’s key to a happy life is “to have an abundance of love and to live life without anger,” the news release said.
“My father raised me with love, loving everyone,” Márquez’s family told Guinness World Records. “He always told me and my siblings to do good, to share everything with others.”
The previous oldest living man recognized by Guinness World Records was Romania’s Dumitru Comănescu. He died on June 27, 2020, less than a month after receiving the record, at the age of 111 years 219 days.
Following his passing, Guinness World Records said it “received evidence” in support of Márquez, who was born three months earlier than Comănescu.
The oldest living person on Earth is 118-year-old Kane Takana, who lives in a nursing home in Fukuoka, Japan. In March, her grandson told CNN that Takana is gunning for the record for the oldest person who’s ever lived, which is held by Jeanne Louise Calment, a French woman who died at 122.