World’s Second Oldest Man Dies at 113 Years Old

July 8, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pass away [pas uh-WEY] (v. phrase) – to die
Example: Michael Jackson passed away in 2009 at the age of 50.

2. astonishing [uh-STON-i-shing] (adj.) – amazing or surprising
 Example: The astonishing old man surprised the crowd with his muscular built.

3. centenarian [sen-ten-AIR-ee-uh n] (n.) – a living person who is 100 years old or older
Example: His mother, the only centenarian in our town, celebrated her 109th birthday yesterday.

4. blacksmith [BLAK-smith] (n.) – a person who creates things made of iron
Example: The old blacksmith designed the metal gate of our house a few weeks before he died.

5. longevity [lon-JEV-i-tee] (n.) – long life or the condition of living for a long time
Example: My mother always tells me that healthy food and daily exercise result to longevity.


Read the text below.

James Sisnett, the world's second oldest man, has already passed away when he died in his sleep at the astonishing age of 113 years and 90 days. He died on May 23, 2013 at a nursing home in Barbados, his home nation.

According to the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), an organization that monitors the age of centenarians and supercentenarians, Sisnett was the oldest man in the western hemisphere. He ranked as the second oldest man in the world, after the 116-year-old Jiroemon Kimura of Japan. Before Sisnett died, he and Kimura were the only known living men on the planet who were born in the 19th century.

James Sisnett was born on February 22, 1900. After decades of working as a blacksmith, he retired in 1970 at the age of 70. Because of his long life, he was able to witness the world’s most remarkable events, such as the first airplane flight and the World War I.

According to one of his relatives, Sisnett was considered a celebrity in Barbados. People gave him the nickname "Grandad" because of his longevity. The townspeople even consult him about the historic events that happened in the community. When he turned 100, he was awarded with the keys to the capital city of Bridgetown as a token of honor.

Women often outlive men on the average. In fact, some women are older than both Sisnett and Kimura. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the oldest human who ever lived was a French woman named Louise Calment, who died at the age of 122.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do people often live long in your country? What do you think are the reasons?
·         In your opinion, what is the secret to living a long, healthy life? Please explain further.

Discussion B

·         What specific things would you like to accomplish during your lifetime? Discuss them with your tutor.
·         How would you want to spend your life after reaching an old age? Tell you tutor about it.


July 8, 2013