Man heralded as oldest human dies in Indonesia ‘aged 146’

A man who was heralded as being the world’s longest living human has died at a claimed age of 146.

According to his papers, Indonesian national Sodimedjo, also known as Mbah Ghoto (Grandpa Ghoto), was born in December 1870. He would have been 43 at the start of the first world war and turned 70 during the second world war.

The heavy smoker, who outlived four wives, died this week in his village in Central Java after being taken to hospital on 12 April with deteriorating health. He insisted on returning home to be with his family and died on Sunday.

Mbah Ghoto was not the recognised longest living human as Indonesia only started recording births in 1900. However, officials told the BBC his residency card, which has his birthdate on it, was valid based on documents and interviews with him.

His grandson Suyanto told the BBC that when he came home, he started to eat less and less.

Mbah Gotho was believed to be the world’s oldest man with documentation that stated that he was born in 1870.
Pinterest
Mbah Gotho was believed to be the world’s oldest man with documentation that stated that he was born in 1870. Photograph: Ali Lutfi/EPA

“It only lasted a couple of days. From that moment on to his death, he refused to eat and drink,” he added. “He didn’t ask much. Before he died, he just wanted us, his family, to let him go.”

Mbah Ghoto was buried on Monday morning in a local cemetery plot he had bought, which included a gravestone he had procured years before he died.

A former farmer and fisherman, Mbah Ghoto said last year that he lived “a long life because I have people that love me looking after me”. He was a local hero and would recount stories of life under Japanese and Dutch colonisers.

“Life is only a matter of accepting your destiny wholeheartedly. I have wanted to die for a long time,” he told the Jakarta Post last year.

He leaves behind five children, 12 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

As Mbah Gotho’s age was not independently verified, he does not take the mantle of oldest living human in recorded history from Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 aged 122.

The world’s oldest person alive today is Violet Brown, a 117-year-old Jamaican woman, according to the Gerontology Research Group.

  • The headline and first paragraph of this article were amended on 3 May 2017 to clarify that the age of 146 was a claim, not a fact. This had already been made clear later in the article.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This