An envoy from the Guinness Book of World Records is due in Israel any day now to formalize 115-year-old David Pur's title of Oldest Man in the World.
Three of Pur's nine children are still alive, along with 18 grandchildren and 56 great-grandchildren, according to a report from Israel National News (INN).
Born in 1895 in what was then Persia and today is Iran, Pur became an adviser to the Shah, who admired his mastery of languages, including Persian, Hebrew, Arabic, Aramaic and French. He later added Tagalog, while learning to care for Filipinos. He and his family came to Israel in 1948.
Pur still listens to the news of the day on radio and television, and discusses current events with his grandson, Israel Defense Forces Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
The old man is known for his smiles and for laughing and joking with the various members of his large family, who visit him daily. "The main thing is not to lose your optimism," he says.
Today, the man who smoked for nearly 110 years and has a glass of brandy and some nuts for breakfast seems to know instinctively what recent Israeli research has proved - that increasing vegetables and cutting out trans fats and processed foods can reverse hardening of the arteries. "I avoid meat and fried foods, and eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible," he says.