France's oldest man, Jules Theobald, dies at 112

Jules Theobald passed away aged 112 on Tuesday 5 October, 2021.
Jules Theobald passed away aged 112 on Tuesday 5 October, 2021. © AFP/Lionel Chamoiseau

Jules Theobald, a 112-year-old man from the Caribbean island of Martinique, a French overseas department, died on Tuesday at his home in Fort-de-France.


Born on April 17, 1909 – though family legend has it he was born two years earlier – the father of three worked as a docker and a fisherman.

In a 2019 interview he insisted feistily that "if it were down to me I could live until I'm 200. I've had a good little life. I don't have any regrets."

As recently as March, residents had voted the keen dancer and domino player honorary president of his Pointe des Negres home district.

"He will leave a great void, although his passing was rather expected," Fort-de-France deputy mayor Steeve Moreau said.

"He loved his district. He knew everybody and everybody knew him – he was very close to people."

The oldest man in the world is Spain's Saturnino de la Fuente Garcia, aged 112 years and 236 days as of Tuesday. He was born two months and one week before Theobald.

France was also home to the oldest person to have their age independently verified. She was Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 aged 122 years and 164 days.

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