Bob Weighton, the world’s oldest man, turns 112. Born in 1908, he’s the same age as Inter Milan Football Club, and pre-dates Selfridges department store and the beatification of Joan of Arc!
At a whopping 112 years old, Weighton has survived two World Wars, the Spanish flu and smallpox, among many other global catastrophes.
Weighton, from Alton, Hampshire, took up the title of the World Oldest Man earlier this year after the death of the previous holder, Chitetsu Watanabe, from Japan.
Last year, the former teacher and engineer celebrated his 111th birthday with his many friends at his retirement flat.
But this year, the super-centenarian—someone aged 110 and older—celebrated the birthday under lockdown, due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
He told the PA news agency:
“Everything is canceled, no visitors, no celebration. It’s a dead loss as far as the celebration is concerned.”
Weighton lived through the Spanish flu pandemic, which swept across the globe in 1918, when he was only 10 years old, killing between 50 and 100 million people.
“I only read about it in history books when I got older.”
“Actually, I wasn’t aware there was a Spanish flu around because none of my brothers and sisters or people I knew were affected.”
“I am sure they were, but a child’s world is not an adult’s world, a child doesn’t read the newspapers, and there was no radio in those days, so you didn’t get news in the sense you get it thrown at you in all directions nowadays.”
Bob was born on March 29, 1908, in Hull. King Edward VII was still reigning over Britain, while Herbert Asquith’s tenure as prime minister was soon to begin.
After studying mechanical engineering, Bob traveled the world, living in Taiwan, Canada and the US before returning to England in 1946 with his wife Agnes and three children.
From there, he took a position as a lecturer at the City University of London before retiring in 1973.
He currently has 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandkids.
Commenting on reaching such a remarkable age, Bob earlier told BBC News:
“I just accept it as a fact. It’s not something I ever intended, wanted or worked for, but it’s just one of those facts of life.”
“You might find it amazing, but it’s just one of those things.”
“I have not lived my life avoiding being run over by buses or getting cancer or anything else. I’ve done nothing to deserve or achieve this age. I’m just one of the lucky ones.”