Sanchez, nick named "Shorty" died at a nursing home in New York after three months as the oldest man alive, leaving behind two children and seven grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren and even five great-great grandchildren.
He was born June 8, 1901 in El Tejado de Bejar, a small town in Spain. As a kid, he made money playing dulzania, a wind instrument, at weddings and celebrations. Later, he and his brother moved to Cuba to work in the sugar fields, and then came through Ellis Island into the United States, getting a job working in a Kentucky coal mine in 1920.
In 1934 in Niagara Falls, NY, Sanchez met and married Pearl Chiasera, she gave birth to their two children, John and Irene. Sanchez worked in construction and at the Union Carbide Company, where he served more than three decades before retiring.
Pearl Sanchez died in 1988.
Sanchez became the world's oldest man after his predecessor, Jiroemon Kimura of Japan, died at 116. The world's oldest person, a Japanese woman named Misao Okawa, is 115.