A man who claimed to be 146 years old and outlived all four of his wives has died in Indonesia.

Saparman Sodimejo, also known as Mbah Gotho, had an Indonesian ID card that claimed his date of birth was December 31, 1870.

But whether or not he will ever be listed as the world’s oldest man is open to question, since the paperwork has so far not been independently verified.

A heavy smoker, when asked last year about the key to his longevity, he said that patience was key and that he had enjoyed a long life because he had people who loved him that looked after him. 

If his birth date is correct, it would mean that he was born in the same year as the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin and a year after the Suez Canal opened.

He will have lived through two world wars, resulting in the Japanese invasion of the Dutch East Indies, with seven British monarchs reigning in his lifetime. 

His remarkable life experiences made him a great story-teller in the village, with wars against Japan and Dutch colonisers making him a hero in his village. 

He passed away in his village in the Seragaen district of Central Java, Indonesia and a funeral took place today.

A man who claimed to be 146 years old and outlived four wives has died in Indonesia. Relatives are pictured by his coffin today

A man who claimed to be 146 years old and outlived four wives has died in Indonesia. Relatives are pictured by his coffin today

Saparman Sodimejo (pictured), also known as Mbah Gotho, had an Indonesian ID card that claimed his date of birth was December 31, 1870

Saparman Sodimejo (pictured), also known as Mbah Gotho, had an Indonesian ID card that claimed his date of birth was December 31, 1870

Saparman Sodimejo (pictured), also known as Mbah Gotho, had an Indonesian ID card that claimed his date of birth was December 31, 1870

Gotho was taken to hospital in early April due to deteriorating health but six days later checked himself out and returned home.

His grandson Suyanto told the BBC: ‘Since he came back from the hospital, he only ate spoonfuls of porridge and drank very little.

‘It only lasted a couple of days. From that moment on to his death, he refused to eat and drink.’

In December, he celebrated his birthday with his relatives.

Attending his party were his grandson Suryanto and wife Suwarni, with their children Erika Kurniawati and Anisa Kurniawati, among other younger surviving relatives.

Whether or not he will ever be listed as the world's oldest man is open to question, since his paperwork has so far not been independently verified

Whether or not he will ever be listed as the world's oldest man is open to question, since his paperwork has so far not been independently verified

Whether or not he will ever be listed as the world’s oldest man is open to question, since his paperwork has so far not been independently verified

He passed away in his village in the Seragaen district of Central Java, Indonesia and a funeral took place today

He passed away in his village in the Seragaen district of Central Java, Indonesia and a funeral took place today

He passed away in his village in the Seragaen district of Central Java, Indonesia and a funeral took place today

Unsurprisingly, Gotho outlived all 10 of his siblings as well as his four wives, the last of whom died in 1988. All of his children have also died

Unsurprisingly, Gotho outlived all 10 of his siblings as well as his four wives, the last of whom died in 1988. All of his children have also died

Unsurprisingly, Gotho outlived all 10 of his siblings as well as his four wives, the last of whom died in 1988. All of his children have also died

Unsurprisingly, he had outlived all 10 of his siblings as well as his four wives, the last of whom died in 1988. All of his children have also died.

If his documents are correct, his age of 146 made him significantly older than the verified oldest person in the world ever, a title that belongs to French woman Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122.   

Scientists are likely to question whether his claim could be possible with a study conducted last year claiming that the natural limit to human life is no more than 125 years.Researchers led by Jan Vijg of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York, concluded that there was an age limit beyond which humans just cannot pass naturally. 

Suryanto said last year that his grandfather had been preparing for his death ever since he was 122, but it never seemed to come.

He said: ‘The gravestone there was made in 1992. That was 24 years ago.’

If his documents are correct, his age of 146 made him significantly older than the verified oldest person in the world ever, a title that belongs to French woman Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122

If his documents are correct, his age of 146 made him significantly older than the verified oldest person in the world ever, a title that belongs to French woman Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122

If his documents are correct, his age of 146 made him significantly older than the verified oldest person in the world ever, a title that belongs to French woman Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122

In addition, Suryanto said Mbah Gotho’s family had already prepared a gravesite for him – near his children’s graves.

Staff at the Indonesian records office have confirmed Mbah Gotho’s birthdate, which is specified on his Indonesian ID card as 31st December 1870.

Others without verifiable records who are purportedly older than Mbah Gotho include 171-year-old James Olofintuyi from Nigeria and 163-year-old Dhaqabo Ebba from Ethiopia.

 



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