Saturnino de la Fuente, who was going to be 113 years old on February 12 and was considered the oldest man in the world since September 2021, died on Tuesday at his home on Fleming Avenue in the capital of Leon, according to family sources.
Saturnino de la Fuente, the world’s oldest man, dies on the verge of his 113th birthday
His death occurred “around 11:00, shortly after breakfast, when he began to breathe heavily and in a few seconds he was extinguished like a candle,” said his son-in-law, Bernardo Marcos.
De la Fuente had received on September 10, 2021, at 112 years and 211 days, the recognition of the Guinness World Records as the oldest man in the world, after the Puerto Rican Emilio Flores died a few days earlier at the same age.
His mortal remains will be buried this Wednesday in the Puente Castro cemetery.
From the Spanish flu to the coronavirus
Saturnino was born during the reign of Alfonso XIII, lived through the dictatorship of Primo de Rivera, knew the II Republic and suffered the Civil War. He did not fight in the war because he did not measure up, but his shoe factory was intervened, which was used to manufacture boots for the national army. With eight children, three of them already dead, the last one in 2020 during the second pandemic (that of the coronavirus), Saturnino de la Fuente survived the Spanish flu of 1918.
He was also the first man to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in the province of León. In his long life, in which he has seen the birth of 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren, he has cheated death several times. The most serious occurred in 1937 when Saturnino escaped death under the debris left by the crash of a Condor Legion plane on La Rúa street in León.
A shoemaker by trade, ‘Pepino’, as he was known to his friends, began working at the age of 13 in a factory where he worked for more than 30 years. After the company closed, he set up on his own in his native neighborhood, Puente Castro, where he lived for many years. In that neighborhood he founded a soccer team, CD Puente Castro, which is still active and of which he is an honorary member.