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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 November, 2004, 12:56 GMT
World's oldest man dies aged 113
Fred Hale Sr, a US citizen documented as the world's oldest man, has died at the age of 113.

Hale, who gave up driving at 108 because he found slow drivers annoying, died in his sleep on Friday in Syracuse, New York, his family said.

Fred Hale was only 12 days short of his 114th birthday when he passed away.

His death leaves Germany's Hermann Dornemann, 111, as the oldest living man. A woman from Belarus, Hanna Barysevich, is said to be 116.

She has said that she had never thought of applying for recognition to Guinness World Records.

Slow drivers

"It's hard for the family, but it's nice for him," grandson Fred Hale Hale III told the Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse.

Until his death, Hale was mentally sharp and physically healthy despite being nearly deaf and in a wheelchair.

Hale outlived three of his five children. He also had nine grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and 11 great-great-grandchildren.

The railway postal worker and beekeeper, who retired 50 years ago, "had a routine and he rarely broke it because anyone else was around," Hale III said.

He ate three full meals a day - at the same time each day. Once in a while, he would make an exception and have a slice of pizza.

He ate at least a teaspoonful of honey and bee pollen every day - washed down with the occasional breakfast nip of whisky, the Guinness Book of Records says - but never smoked and only rarely drank alcohol.

At 103, Hale was still living on his own - and shovelling the snow off his rooftop.

Hale also was a Guinness record-holder for the oldest driver.

At 104, he had his driving license renewed, and stopped four years later because he found slow drivers annoying, Fred Hale III said.

The supercentenarian lived through 21 US presidents, and was in his 70s when Neil Armstrong landed on the Moon.

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