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Shirali Muslimov
Shirali Muslimov
Shirali Muslimov in 1970.
Birth: 26 March 1805?
Barzavu, Talysh Khanate, Iran (now Barzavu, Lerik District, Azerbaijan)
Death: 2/4 September 1973
Barzavu, Azerbaijan SSR, Soviet Union (now Barzavu, Lerik District, Azerbaijan)
Age: 168 years, 160-162 days?
Country: AzerbaijanAZE
Longevity myth

Shirali Baba Muslimov (also Mislimov) (allegedly born 26 March 1805 – 2 or 4 September 1973) was a Taylash shepherd from the village of Barzavu in the Lerik, Azerbaijan. He claimed to be 168 years old: if his claim were correct then he will be about 46 years older then the oldest verified record of 122 years by Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment. However, that's extremely unlikely, based on maximum lifespan and mortality data for validated supercentenarians.

He claimed to be the oldest person who ever lived when he died on September 2, 1973 at the alleged age of 168. Shirali Muslumov was married 3 times and had 23 children. In 1966 Azerbaijani film studio shot a documentary film about him “Shirali descended from the mountain”. He became a father of his daughter at the claimed age of 136 years old. Muslumov has never been recognized by the GWR and had no birth certificate.

According to legend, Muslimov worked hard every day, up to 168 years, did not smoke or drink, but ate fruits, vegetables, wholemeal bread, chicken broth, low-fat cheese and yogurt. He had several wives through his lifetime. Muslimov became ill with pneumonia between 1972 and 1973, but survived only to die later in 1973.

Muslimov's story was picked up in 1973 by National Geographic Magazine, [1] which told that on the occasion he still rode horseback and tended an orchard planted in the 1870s. National Geographic later recanted on the claim. The same story was told by the Guinness Book of World Records, stated as unconfirmed along with other similar claims.[2] The 1974 Guinness noted that medical examinations revealed that the men with these extraordinary age claims typically had the physiology of men in their 90 years old. It also stated that these age claims most likely resulted from son father and even son grandfather impersonations in order to avoid the Czarist draft.

His marital status was also controversial. According to National Geographic, he had a 120-year-old wife whom he had married 102 years earlier.[3] However according to his obituary, published by Time magazine, when Shirali Mislimov was 136 years old, he married 57-year-old Khatum-Khanum (1884–1988). Muslimov became ill with pneumonia between 1972 and 1973, but he survived, only to die later in 1973.

According to him, the angel of death couldn't reach him in the mountainous area.


  • Alexander Leaf, (Jan. 1973). "Search for the Oldest People". National Geographic, pp. 93–118.
  • The Guinness Book of Records, 1974
  • Советский комитет солидарности стран Азии и Африки, Институт востоковедения (Академия наук СССР), Институт Африки (Академия наук СССР). Asia and Africa today. — Asia and Africa Today, 1990. :Shirali Mislimov, an Azerbaijani peasant, who was the oldest among the Soviet Supercentenarians, died in 1973 at the age of 212. His surviving widow at that time was 120..
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