Just a few days before his 128th birthday, Jose Paulino Gomes, who was believed to be the oldest man in the world, passed away in his home in Corrego do Cafe, Brazil, at the extraordinary age of 127, leaving behind a legacy that stretched more than a century.
Jose, according to his 1917 marriage certificate, was born on August 4, 1895, and lived through important historical moments including the first-ever proms, the first rugby league football game, and the discovery of X-rays.
Jose was born in the late-1800s, according to Willyan Jose Rodrigues de Souza, a legal advisor, who claimed that Jose’s age was accurate. If de Souza is proven correct, Jose will exceed Spain’s Maria Branyas Morera, who is the current Guinness World Records holder at 115.
Jose led a simple and modest existence, working as an animal trainer and relying on products made from natural resources and locally produced goods.
His seven children, 25 grandchildren, 42 great-grandchildren, and 11 great-great-grandchildren all warmly remember him, The Sun reported.
“His uniqueness was that he didn’t like anything industrialised, only things from the countryside, natural. He raised chickens, pigs… His food was all from here, had to be grown or raised here. And he always liked to have a little drink,” Jose’s granddaughter Eliane Ferreira said.
Fabiola Oliveira, also Jose’s granddaughter, revealed he was riding horses until four years ago.
“Four years ago, he stopped riding horses. For about a month, he was in bed,” she said.
Moreover, Jose’s documentation may have been inaccurate because of rural customs, according to his granddaughter Eliane, but his family had no doubts about his age because they knew he had lived for more than a century.
“Here in the countryside, people are usually registered when they are older,” Jose’s granddaughter Eliane Ferreira told local media. “There are several cases with incorrect documentation. But his documentation showed he was younger than he actually was.”
She continued: “There is a lady nearby who is 98 years old. She says she knew him when he was just a boy. That’s when we became curious to confirm his age and looked up the registry office to find out what was correct.
“He definitely was over 100 years old, at least 110. Now we need to know how it will be recorded on the death certificate.”
He died as a result of multiple organ failure, which was only natural given his advanced age and was buried in Pedra Bonita’s Corrego dos Fialhos Cemetery.
Jose’s status has not yet been officially confirmed by Guinness World Records, but the Brazilian countryside laments the loss of a man whose lifespan was equalled only by the priceless memories he made with his loved ones.