(JTA) — The world’s oldest man, a New Yorker who attempted to flee the Nazi rise to power in Poland in 1939, died at the age of 111.
Alexander Imich held the title of world’s oldest validated man for just two months before his death on Sunday. While he was the world’s oldest man, there are 66 women who were older than him.
Imich was born in Czestochowa in southern Poland to a wealthy secular Jewish family, according to the New York Times. He said he was not allowed to join the Polish Navy due to anti-Semitism.
He and his wife were sent from Bialystok, Poland, where they fled after the Nazis rise to power, to a Soviet labor camp. When they returned to Poland after the war they discovered that many family members had died in the Holocaust. They immigrated to Waterbury, Conn. in 1951.
He told the New York Times in April that holding the record for world’s oldest man is “Not like it’s the Nobel Prize” and that “I never thought I’d be that old.” He said he never drank alcohol. He and his wife, who died in 1986, never had any children.
Imich willed his body to the Mount Sinai Medical Center for study.