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Michael Albans/AP/Press Association Images

World's oldest man dies at grand age of 114

Walter Breuning passed away in the US on Thursday. He had put his long life down to a strict diet of two meals a day.

THE WORLD’S OLDEST man has passed away at the age of 114 in the US. He had often told people they should never be afraid to die.

Walter Breuning was old enough to remember his grandfather telling stories about his part in the American Civil War during the 1860s and in his final years he campaigned to end two other wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, BBC reports.

Breuning put his good health down to a strict diet of two meals a day and he died of natural causes in a hospital in the city of Great Falls on Thursday.

Reuters reports that Breuning was born on the 21 September 1896, in Melrose, Minnesota.

He spent most of his early life in South Dakota before taking a job with the Great Northern Railway in 1913.

He had been living in the same retirement home since 1980. His wife of 35 years, Agnes Twokey, died childless in 1957.

Breuning was declared the oldest man in the world on 18 July 2009 by the Guinness Book of World Records.

The governor of Montana and US senators from the state have paid tribute to Breuning, reports the Great Falls Tribune, with senator Max Baucus tellling the paper: “He was a real Montanan: thrifty, healthy, hard-working, and he had true Montana grit.”

The Associated Press interviewed Breuning at length before his death in which he reflected on morality amongst many other things throughout his extraordinarily long life:

We’re going to die. Some people are scared of dying. Never be afraid to die. Because you’re born to die.