I’ve made several posts about this remarkable man, with good reason. Walter Breuning was the world’s oldest man from 18th July 2009 until yesterday. His predecessor, Henry Allingham, I took some interest in, where my peculiar interest in longevity sparked.
Breuning was born a long time ago, and his passing leaves even fewer comrades from his era – the nineteenth century. Beyond the bragging right of living in three centuries (and thirteen decades), his mental and physical health was robust and he was largely his own man. He maintained his own diet, exercise, and was not on medication. That alone is nice to know, it really is. A human is capable of living 114 years with a great quality of life.
There was more to him than that.
When you live throughout the whole of the 20th century (and a little extra), you learn a few things. This man personally coped with the ‘dark ages’ of the 1900s, the Great Depression, and losing your wife back in the 1950s. His personal philosophy is focused on helping people, and despite his circumstances he had no fear of death. I’m not reiterating third-party news reports that pick out the numbers and key words, I’m telling you what I’ve learned from his videos.
At the end of March he was hospitalised. When I found this out I obviously thought that it may be the end. I thought he would pull through, from the information given. His passing was not so much a shock. It’s sad, definitely. But I’m consoled by him probably knowing too that his time had come, and that he was ready to embrace it. This sadness stems from losing a piece of history, and above all, a great man.
– Walter Breuning (September 21, 1896 – April 14, 2011)