The world’s oldest man, Bob Weighton, is celebrating his birthday today.
At the age of 112 years old, the Alton, Hampshire gentleman has seen it all. He lived through five monarchs, 22 prime ministers, two World Wars, Spanish flu and smallpox among many, many other events.
Following the death of Chitetsu Watanabe in Japan, he already held on the title of the world’s oldest man last year. And his advice for living a long and healthy life is simple.
“I don’t eat much meat and I only drink when I’m at a party.”
Bob was born on March 29, 1908, in Hull. That time, King Edward VII was still reigning over Britain, while Herbert Asquith’s tenure as prime minister was soon to begin.
After finishing mechanical engineering, Bob traveled the world, living in Taiwan, Canada, and the US before going back to England in 1946 with his wife Agnes and his three children. He also has 10 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. From there, he worked as a lecturer at the City University of London before retiring in 1973.
Bob’s birthday, which he shares with Joan Hocquard, from Poole in Dorset, who also turned 112 today, has played host to a number of major events throughout history. In 1927, as he turned 19, the Sunbeam 1000hp broke the land speed record at Daytona Beach, Florida.
In 1936, at the age of 28, he read the headlines as Adolf Hitler’s vice grip of Germany’s population solidified when he received 99% of the votes in the country’s election.
Fast forward to his 65th birthday, and Bob’s celebrations happened with the last US soldiers departing South Vietnam. Just one year later, he shared in the world’s awe as NASA’s Mariner 10 became the first probe to fly past Mercury.
As Bob turned 94 in 2002, Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield, the largest military operation in the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War, following a suicide bombing in Netanya. While on a lighter note, in 2014, Bob’s 106th birthday occurred with England and Wales’ first same-sex marriages.
Speaking about how he reached such a remarkable age, Bob told reporters:
“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.”
In the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, Bob’s birthday celebrations have been put on hold for now. However, the staff at Brendoncare Alton Care Home where he lives in an independent flat said he’ll be having a relaxing day at home, chatting with friends and family over the phone and via FaceTime.
In his interview, he also left his most well-kept secret to longevity.
May you have a blessed and happy birthday, Bob!