Brother Walter Breuning, at 114 years old, is the oldest living American, and the 7th oldest person in the world. He celebrated his birthday yesterday at a retirement home in Great Falls, Montana. Brother Breuning is a 32° Scottish Rite Mason who joined the fraternity in 1925.
From the AP today:
Walter Breuning was born on Sept. 21, 1896, in Melrose, Minnesota, and moved to Montana in 1918, where he worked as a clerk for the Great Northern Railway for 50 years.
His wife, Agnes, a railroad telegraph operator from Butte, died in 1957. The couple had no children.
Breuning inherited the distinction of being the world's oldest man in July 2009 when Briton Henry Allingham died at age 113. Allingham had joked that the secret to long life was "Cigarettes, whisky and wild, wild women — and a good sense of humor," according to Guinness World Records.
The Guinness organization and the Gerontology Research Group each have verified Breuning as the world's oldest man and the fourth-oldest person. Three women were born earlier in the same year as Breuning.
Robert Young, senior consultant for gerontology for Guinness World Records, presented Breuning with a copy of the book's 2011 edition that lists him as the record holder.