World’s oldest man dies in Indonesia ‘aged 146’

Tom Batchelor

A man who claimed to be the world’s oldest person has died at the age of 146, it is claimed.

Mbah Gotho, from Indonesia, was said to have documentation that showed he was born in 1870.

A lifelong heavy smoker, Sodimedjo - as he was also known - was taken to hospital last month for an undisclosed health complaint.

He discharged himself six days later and ate only porridge until he died a few days later, his grandson Suyanto told the BBC.

"Since he came back from the hospital, he only ate spoonfuls of porridge and drank very little," the relative said.

However, doubts have been raised about his claim as Indonesia did not begin to record new births until 1900.

Mr Gotho’s claim to be the world’s oldest human hit the headlines last summer when officials at the local record office in his home town of Sragen, Central Java, said they had been able to verify his age.

He told reporters at the time that he began preparing for his death in 1992, including having a gravestone made: “What I want is to die.”

Mr Gotho has outlived all his siblings, wives and children (YouTube/Candra Yanuar)

He outlived all 10 of his siblings, his four wives and his children.

Mr Ghoto was buried on Monday morning in a plot he bought several years ago and using the pre-prepared gravestone, his grandson said.

"He didn't ask much. Before he died, he just wanted us, his family, to let him go," Suryanto said.

Without verifiable documents his claims won't be officially recognised (Donal Husni/ZUMA Wire/REX/Shutterstock)

According to the Guinness World Records, the oldest person to have lived is 122-year-old French woman Jeanne Louise Calment, who died in a nursing home in 1997.

Mr Ghoto’s claim would add 24 years to that record, a fact that is likely to add to speculation that the Indonesian man’s papers are incorrect.

A number of people also claim to have broken Ms Calment’s record, including Nigerian James Olofintuyi, who claimed to have made it to 171, and Dhaqabo Ebba from Ethiopia, who claimed to be 163.

Without verifiable documents none of their claims will be officially recognised.

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