McMorran was history's fifth-oldest man, said Dr. L. Stephen Coles of the UCLA-based Gerontology Research Group, a nonprofit international research organization that verifies birth dates and tracks the 35 to 45 people around the globe who are 110 and older.
Coles said that 41 people remain alive in that category, and that the oldest living American is Mary Christian -- one week McMorran's senior -- of San Pablo, Calif. The verifiably oldest living man in the United States, he said, is now Fred Hale of New York state, who is 112.
Coles -- whose Gerontology Research Group posts information on its Web site (www.grg.org) about the world's more than 300,000 people over 100 -- said a sample of McMorran's blood was drawn last year for analysis by the New England Centenarian Study. Through such work, scientists hope to learn more about longevity.