Appaz Iliev, 'Oldest Person in the World,' Dies at 123 Years Old

Bettina Dizon
May 14, 2019
08:14 P.M.
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Appaz Iliev, the world’s oldest man, just passed away at age 123, revealing that his secret to his long life is a healthy lifestyle and getting 11 hours of sleep a night. At the acclaimed age of 123, Russian citizen Appaz Iliev, passed away, leaving his eight children, 35 grandchildren, and 34 great-grandchildren behind.


“Our long living man, the eldest citizen of Russia, Appaz Lliev has died at the age of 123,” says official Yunus-Bek Evkurov. “He remained a kind and loving old man who loved his life.”

Iliev’s age was never verified as he lost his birth records, yet he once said his birth took place during the last Russian Tsar and served in the first world war.


Iliev’s long life can be attributed to his lifestyle which veers away from television, cigarettes, and alcohol. He also tries to avoid doctors and medication but could not help but undergo eye surgery when he was 121 because of a cataract. 


Diet was also crucial in the way Iliev lived. He only consumed vegetables from his garden, local meat from his village, Guli, in the Russian Caucasus Mountains, dairy milk, and fresh spring water. Additionally, he would make it a point to get 11 hours of sleep.

Mid last year, another claimed “world’s oldest person,” Chiyo Miyako, died at the age of 117 in Japan.


Born under the last Tsar Nicholas II in 1896, Iliev grew up working at a shepherd with nearly 800 animals to herd. Years ago, he disclosed that his parents sent him to shepherd sheep alone at the young age of seven.


“I cried all day long because I was so afraid. There were many soldiers in the mountains, I was so scared,” he shared. “It is over 100 years ago but I still remember that fear.”


In his many years on earth, Iliev left words of advice to his family, including valuing what is given to you and sharing it with each other. His grandson, Mustafa, 33, also said that he was always told “to be active” and “to be in motion” by his grandfather.


“He loves to say: ‘If you see some man in help, don’t turn your head away. Jump and help him,” Mustafa said. “Looking at you, people should say – well done, whose son is he? What family is he from? – because you are in charge not only of your own dignity but of the dignity of your whole family.”

Mid last year, another claimed “world’s oldest person,” Chiyo Miyako, died at the age of 117 in Japan. The “Guinness World Records” confirmed her title in a tweet they posted. The press reported that Miyako’s replacement was Kane Tanaka who was 115 years old then in Fukuoka, a city in Southern Japan. The two Japanese women’s long life can be credited to the traditional Japanese diet and their good health care.