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Nepal’s Oldest Man Dies at 141

April 20, 1998 GMT

KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) _ Nepal’s oldest man, Bir Narayan Chaudhuri, a regular smoker who never set foot in a hospital, died Monday, state-run radio said. He said he was 141, but had no birth certificate to prove it.

Chaudhuri was suffering from body swelling and kidney problems but the cause of death was not known, Nepal radio said.

Although he lacked official documentation of his age, Chaudhuri was recognized by the Nepalese government as the oldest man in the mountainous kingdom, and was honored last year by King Birendra.

Chaudhuri lived in Khanar, a village 125 miles east of the Nepalese capital, Katmandu, and had been a cattle rancher.

``Villagers recall tales about Chaudhury leading the first land survey team in 1888,″ said Narayan Wagle, a reporter who first wrote about Chaudhuri two years ago. Since then, dozens of people have visited Chaudhuri’s hut daily.

Chaudhuri, a regular smoker, lived on a diet of vegetables, pork and rice.

Last week, a woman listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s oldest person, Marie-Louise Febronie Meilleur of Canada, died at the age of 117. Guinness requires a birth certificate for verification.

Chaudhuri’s only son died eight years ago at the age of 85. He is survived by four grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and four great- great-grandchildren. Funeral plans were not announced.