On 10 September 2021, Spain’s Saturnino de la Fuente García became the oldest person living (male) at the incredible age of 112 years and 211 days.
Saturnino was born in Puente Castro (a neighbourhood of León, in the northwest of Spain) on 11 February 1909, although he always decided to celebrate his birthday a little earlier, on 8 February.
"A quiet life… and do not hurt anyone," that’s what Saturnino replies when asked the secret for his longevity.
Saturnino says that it's thanks to his short height that he later avoided fighting in the Spanish Civil War, which commenced in 1936.
Standing at 1.50 m (4.92 ft) and happily married (he married Antonina Barrio Gutiérrez in 1933), Saturnino spent those years of conflict continuing his life-long job as a shoemaker.
Despite this difficult time, Saturnino soon made a name for himself creating boots for the army and expanding his business.
Oldest living person (male) - Saturnino de la Fuente García 🇪🇸 112 years and 211 days♬ Amazing Moment (30s) - Danilo Stankovic
Everybody knew "El pepino" (which translates as "the cucumber"), the most renowned shoemaker in the area. The nickname came from a shortened version for Peña, the name of Saturnino’s mother.
"A quiet life… and do not hurt anyone" - Saturnino de la Fuente García
When he wasn’t occupied with his flourishing business, Saturnino cultivated another huge passion, which remains with him to this day: his beloved soccer clubs.
He played for and co-founded the local team, Puente Castro, and is a constant supporter of León's very own red-and-white Cultural Leonesa.
On the occasion of Saturnino’s 110th birthday, Puente Castro paid homage to the former player as the oldest member of the soccer club.
Year after year, Saturnino and Antonina's household bloomed into a sizable family tree.
The couple had seven daughters and one son, who sadly passed away as a child. Today, Saturnino is cared for by one of his daughters, Ángeles, and his son-in-law, Bernardo.
The man can also count on the affection of a large group of 14 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.
Although he hasn't managed to see his family much in the last year, mainly due to the pandemic and self-isolation measures, the entire family rallied around Saturnino to celebrate his 112th birthday.
The meaningful milestone was celebrated surrounded by love, honouring a long, inspiring – and now record-breaking – life.
Guinness World Records provides official ratification for claims of exceptional longevity with the assistance of Senior Gerontology Consultant Robert Young and the Gerontology Research Group.
At the moment of writing, the overall record for the oldest person living belongs to Kane Tanaka (Japan).
Kane, who is now aged 118, is only fours years shy of breaking the record of oldest person ever, which currently belongs to the Jeanne Louise Calment (France), who was born on 21 February 1875 and died aged 122.
The supercentenarian was born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1903.
She was confirmed by Guinness World Records as the oldest person living at the beginning of 2019 (at the time, Kane was 116 years and 28 days old), and was presented with a certificate at the care home in which she resides.