Benjamin Harrison Holcomb
Benjamin Harrison Holcomb (July 3, 1889 in Kansas – December 2, 2000) was, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest living man in 2000, although his title was later superseded by older cases. He was the son of Chestnut Wade Holcomb and Nancy Sarah Jane Sharp and a descendant of the immigrant Thomas Holcomb.
Guinness awarded him the title in May 2000, but after his death in December, Guinness gave the title to Antonio Todde of Italy, who was born in January 1889. Following Todde's death, Guinness gave the title to Yukichi Chuganji of Japan, who was born in March 1889. Later on, also the case of John Ingram McMorran from Florida, who was exactly two weeks his senior, was discovered. Finally, the case of John Painter from Tennessee, who was born in September 1888, was accepted by the SSA study posthumously, so Mr. Holcomb was actually no higher than the world's fifth-oldest man when he died, and not even the second oldest, let alone the oldest man in the United States. However, since Guinness had started the title in 2000 with a 109-year-old British man, Mr. Holcomb was part of a process of "bidding the record higher" by seeing if anyone older could top his age. He put his longevity down to his ability to "weep freely", which he said stopped him ever getting stressed, and regular glasses of "good wine". He lived most of his life in Oklahoma, where he farmed every day until his retirement in 1996 aged 107. He spent the last years of his life in a nursing home being cared for by three of his five children, all in their eighties.
He celebrated his 111th birthday with an outdoor cookout and a wheelchair parade in his honor at the Carnegie Nursing Home. Nearly 250 people were on hand. Holcomb played basketball and won prizes in the ring toss at a little carnival held in his honor. Holcomb had 5 children, 9 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great-grandchildren.
He was also an avid supporter of outdoor activity, particularly field sports, which he had enjoyed since he was a young boy. In 1998, aged 109, he became the oldest known man to stalk and shoot a deer.