Oldest man in the US dies in Sacramento at 112

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Astronuc
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http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081229/ap_on_re_us/obit_oldest_american_man [Broken]
SAN FRANCISCO – George Francis, the nation's oldest man, who lived through both world wars, man's first walk on the moon and the election of the first black president, has died. He was 112.

Francis died Saturday of congestive heart failure at a nursing home in Sacramento, his son, Anthony Francis, said Sunday.

"He lived four years in the 19th century, 100 years in the 20th century, and 8 years in the 21st century. We call him the man of three centuries," said the younger Francis, 81.

UCLA gerontologist Dr. Stephen Coles, who maintains a list of the world's oldest people, said Francis lived 112 years and 204 days.

With Francis' death, Walter Breuning of Montana, who is 112 years, 98 days old, becomes the country's oldest living man. At 114, Gertrude Baines of Los Angeles is the nation's oldest living person. The world's oldest person is Maria de Jesus of Portugal, who is 115 years, 109 days old, and the oldest man is Tomoji Tanabe of Japan, who is 113 years, 101 days, Coles said.

Francis, who at his prime barely weighed more than 100 pounds, was born June 6, 1896, in New Orleans. As an African-American in the South, he felt the sting of the Jim Crow-era segregation laws in his early life.

His son said Francis tried to enlist in the U.S. Army during World War I but was turned down because of his stature.
. . . .

Even in his waning days, Francis never lost his passion for politics, his family said. He voted for Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930s and for Barack Obama in 2008.
. . . .
RIP George Francis.
 
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  • #2
turbo
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So the Army wouldn't have him in WWI? Not surprising, really considering that one of the hottest aces in the Lafayette Escadrille was grounded and forced into non-combatant status in the infantry when the US officially joined the war on behalf of the French. US officials insisted that he be grounded because of his race. He later spied for the French Resistance during WWII. When the Nazis were getting wise to him, he was spirited out of France to the US, and the only steady job he could get was as an elevator operator. His name was Eugene Jacques Bullard and the other pilots called him the "Black Swallow of Death" for his accuracy and kills. The first black America fighter pilot.

Googling him brings up many interesting stories.
http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/apjinternational/apj-s/2005/3tri05/chivaletteeng.html
 
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  • #3
berkeman
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Now I feel like a young-un! RIP.
 
  • #4
lisab
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It's impossible for the oldest living person to die, because the second they die, they are no longer the oldest living person.
 
  • #5
turbo
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It's impossible for the oldest living person to die, because the second they die, they are no longer the oldest living person.
Try telling him that!
 
  • #6
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It must be hard living that long because you get to see your children die from old age, and even your grand children.
 
  • #7
It must be hard living that long because you get to see your children die from old age, and even your grand children.
Except in this case, all his kids are still kicking! Still: I can't imagine living 40 years longer than my spouse did. At least (due to the longer average lifespan of women) I'm sure he wouldn't be lacking for company if he'd cared for it. My grandpa was positively attacked by the widows in his community after my grandma died! (Although I think it just made him miss her more... he had just enough time to appreciate her absence before his own passing.)
 
  • #8
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If I can live to 100, I'll have it made. People rarely die after that age.
 
  • #9
turbo
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If I can live to 100, I'll have it made. People rarely die after that age.
Such a grasp logic and statistics! I am in awe!
 
  • #10
turbo
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I should ask my wife to buy a lottery ticket. We haven't bought any in a while to build up our chances of hitting the Big One. I figure it's about 50:50 (you either win or you don't) so we're due.
 
  • #11
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When I was six and living in WA my mom was working as a nurse at a retirement home and one of her patients who she, and by extension I, became attached to was this funny old 106 year old lady who would tell stories about driving around in her pink Thunderbird at age 99...or else she used to drive 99 mph in her pink t-bird, my memory is fuzzy. She also always had a cup of lemon drops that she'd insist I had some of. She was a kick, but died later that year.
 

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