Spain’s oldest man dies

by Lorraine Williamson
oldest man in Spain

LEón – He was a shepherd, miner, wrestling champion, police officer, accountant, and mayor. Antonio Alvarado from León died on Wednesday at his home in Vegaquemada (León). Until then, he was the oldest man in Spain. 

He was born in 1912 in the city of Remolina and lived to be 110 years old. Alvarado was the third of 14 brothers. He lived with three of them until the last moment. Isaac, 100 years old; Emile, 95; and Luis, 90, said goodbye to what had been Spain’s oldest man since January 18. The recognition of longevity came on that day earlier this year when Saturnino de la Fuente died at the age of 112. Another man from León who until then held the record of the oldest man in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records. 

Lucha Leonesa 

Antonio always led an intense and active life. La Voz del Sur writes that after he left school, he started out as a migratory herder who transported his cattle on foot from pastures in León to Extremadura. He left that job to start as a miner in Hulleras de Sabero. At the same time, he was a successful practitioner of La Lucha Leonesa, a traditional form of wrestling that is now in decline. He began at 17 and managed to demonstrate for years the strength that led him to the end. He won many tournaments and prizes. 

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He fought during the civil war. After that, he left the mine and started working for the National Police. He married and had six children. His first location as a police officer was Bilbao. At the same time, he did the accounting for a furniture store. At the end of his career as a police officer, he served in Barcelona. It was there he retired. 


When he no longer had to work, he decided to return to his hometown of Remolina, Crémenes (León) where he enjoyed his 15 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. He then made the political leap there with the PSOE, where he was elected mayor between 1987 and 1995. When he was born there, the place still had 210 inhabitants. Nowe, there are only 40 left. Those residents can still remember many initiatives that their mayor took that were good for their village. 


Until his 100th birthday, Antonio drove his own car. He spent his last five years in a nursing home, where he humbly bore the title of “grandfather” bestowed upon him by fellow residents and a staff that he quickly won over with his sympathy and goodwill. His active lifestyle made him loved by everyone. 

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