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Published on Dec 2, 2011
Shirali Baba Muslimov (also Mislimov)(allegedly 26 March 1805 - Barzavu -- September 2, 1973) was a Talysh shepherd from the village of Barzavu in the Lerik region of Azerbaijan, a mountainous area near the Iranian border. He was claiming to be the oldest person who ever lived when he died on September 2 (or 4), 1973 at the alleged age of 168. Muslimov's story was taken up in 1973 by National Geographic Magazine, which told that on the occasion he still rode horseback and tended an orchard planted in the 1870's. National Geographic later recanted on the claim. The same story was told by the Guinness Book, stated as unconfirmed along other similar claims. Shirali credited his longevity to an active life and hard work. When he died, his obituary read that "he had tended the sheep of the rich people for the first hundred years of his life." Afterwards, he was involved in collective farming on the "kolhoz." The family lived in poverty, eating only what they could produce, which meant, primarily, a diet of yogurt, fruits and vegetables. There were no food markets. But there was an abundant supply of fresh spring water. He had three wives, with the last one he married at age of 136 and had a daughter. A newspaper article in the mid-1960s commented that he had descendants down to the 5th generation and was having difficulty remembering the names of his 200 grand- and great-grand-children.