The Oldest Man Alive Lives in Manhattan, And You’ll Love His Secrets To Long Life

screen shot via NBC New York

It’s official: The oldest man alive now lives in New York, N.Y. Alexander Imich nabbed the title of Oldest Man in the World at the ripe-old age of 111 1/4 years old when the previous record holder, Arturo Licata of Italy, died on April 24, 2014 — a little over a week before his 112th birthday. So, what does Imich have to say about having the honor of being Planet Earth’s oldest man alive?

Not like it’s the Nobel Prize.”

It’s nice to see that his sense of humor and humility hasn’t withered away with age for the Polish-born scholar.

“I didn’t have time yet to think about it,” Imich told the New York Times in an interview about his new title.

I never thought I’d be that old.”

Having lived through more than a century’s worth of large and small-scale events, Imich been an eyewitness to some of the most important and fascinating events that have shaped modern history as we know it. He was just a baby when the Wright brothers flew the first plane; he lived through multiple wars and escaped the Holocaust that took so many lives in his native Poland. He made time to fall in love, marry, and accomplish goals in his career. (Writing an anthology of paranormal activity and having it published at 92 is no small feat.)

So, of course everyone wonders what’s the secret to living out such a long, prosperous life — in one of the toughest cities in the world, at that? Imich’s says his secrets to living a long life are as follows:

No alcohol

Says he’s never had a sip.

No smoking

Used to but gave it up.

Eating lightly but well

His few indulgences include: matzo balls, gefilte fish, and ice cream.

Staying active

He credits “good genes” to his good health (his closest living relative is his 84-year-old nephew) but also his active lifestyle of, saying he was a gymnast, runner, javelinist, and swimmer.

And here’s the kicker….

No wife or kids

While he doesn’t outright say his solitude was a key element to his long, prosperous life, he muses that maybe it could’ve helped.

Perhaps the biggest secret to living a long life isn’t about what you do to elongate it but rather your mentality on what’s imminent in the end — at least Imich’s light-hearted thoughts on death would suggest so.

The compensation for dying is that I will learn all the things I was not able to learn here on Earth.”

Read the original full profile on the World’s Oldest Man here.