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Oldest man thanks cigarettes, whisky & wild, wild women

Henry Allingham has seen three centuries, six monarchs, and two world wars, and is the last surviving founder of the RAF.

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Oldest man thanks cigarettes, whisky & wild, wild women
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Henry Allingham, the world's oldest man, attributes his longevity to "cigarettes, whisky, and wild, wild women".

The Brit, who has spent 113 years and 14 days on earth, is currently living at St Dunstan's care home for blind ex-service personnel in Ovingdean, near Brighton.

The centenarian, who has seen three different centuries, six monarchs, and two world wars, is the last surviving founder of the Royal Air Force.

Before him, retired Japanese engineer Tomoji Tanabe, who died in his sleep overnight, was the world's oldest man. Tanabe was 113 years and 274 days old and had more than 50 great-grandchildren. Unlike Allingham, however, Tanabe had foregone alcohol and cigarettes all his life.

A St Dunstan's spokesman said Allingham greeted the news that he had become the oldest man on earth by simply returning to bed after breakfast for a celebratory nap.

He reportedly dislikes taking about wars. According to The Independent, Allingham expresses his abhorrence for conflicts by saying: "War's stupid. Nobody wins."

He said in a recent interview: "Like so many, I have tried to forget my time in the war. In the last few years I have met other veterans, and we never spoke one word of the war, not one."

Regarding the key to a long and prosperous existence, Allingham says: "I don't know if there is a secret, but keeping within your capacity is vital."

Allingham was born on June 6, 1896, in Clacton, east London. His father died when he was a baby. One-hundred-and-thirteen years later, his dynasty includes six grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, 14 great-great-grandchildren, and one great-great-great-grandchild.

The 113-year-old spent over half a century married to his first and only wife, Dorothy, with whom he tied the knot in 1919, shortly after returning from the First World War. Together they had two daughters, Jean and Betty, who emigrated to the US. Both died in the 1980s.

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