ROME, April 25 (Xinhua) -- The Sicilian city of Enna is preparing to hold the funeral of the world's oldest male -- an Italian man who died on April 24 at the age of 111.
Arturo Licata was born on May 2, 1902. He was officially recognized as the world's oldest man by Guinness World Records on Feb. 28, after the previous holder of the record Salustiano Sanchez died in September 2013 at the age of 112 years and 97 days.
Licata's story was widely covered by Italian media, drawing public interest in a country that often prides itself for having a "healthy living philosophy." His funeral will be held in a central church of the old town of Enna on Saturday.
Licata was born in Sicily into a family of four brothers and two sisters. He had seven children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
As for many people of his generation, life had not been easy for Licata. He was sent to work in sulphur mines at the age of nine, where he kept working for 20 years. He jointed the army in 1921, and served as a soldier in East Africa during the invasion of Ethiopia ordered by the Italian fascist regime.
He married his wife Rosa in 1929, and left the army ten years later, just when the Second World War began. Widowed in 1980 at the age of 78, he kept living in the old centre of Enna.
Several other super-centenarians around the world, both men and women, have been lived to be older than Licata. The Guinness World Records, however, crowned the Italian as the oldest living male in February 2014 because he could provide complete documentation as proof of his birth, life and identity, senior gerontology consultant Robert Young explained.
When he passed away, Licata was aged 111 years and 357 days. The current oldest living person in the world is a Japanese female, Misao Okawa, who was born in 1898 and still lives in Osaka.