Salustiano Sanchez-Blazquez died Friday at a nursing home in Grand Island, New York. He was 112 years old.
He was born in 1901 in the village of El Tejado do Bejar, Spain.
The self-taught musician moved to Cuba when he was a teenager with his brother and a group of friends where they worked in the sugarcane fields.
In 1920, Sanchez came to the United States through Ellis Island and eventually settled in New York’s Niagara Falls area.
Sanchez’s wife died in 1988. He is survived by a daughter, a son, seven grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, and five great great grandchildren.
But was Sanchez really the world’s oldest living man? There would seem to be a competing claim to the title.
Carmelo Flores Laura, a Bolivian cattle and sheep herder, was born in 1890 according to Bolivian public records.
The father of three – who has 16 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren – was born on July 16, 1890, the civil registry reveals.
Birth certificates didn’t exist in Bolivia at the time of his birth but a document for his baptism states his date of birth. While Guinness World Records do not list Flores as the oldest man, the Bolivian government insists his 1890 birthdate is valid.
“For the state, the baptism certificate is valid,” said the director of Bolivia’s civil registrar, Eugenio Condori, adding that government birth certificates did not exist in Bolivia until 1940.