|Born||1916 (age 102–103)|
|Occupation||Former wrestler and farmer|
|Known for||Oldest father|
|Spouse(s)||Shakuntala Devi (2002-present)|
Ramjit Raghav (born c. 1916) is an Indian former wrestler and farmer who has been claimed by various news media as the world's oldest father. He resided in southern India with his wife. He claimed to have had his first child with his wife at age 94. He fathered a second child at age 96. A vegetarian who claims to engage in sexual intercourse around three times a day, Raghav was chosen to be an ambassador for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in November 2012.
Early life and career
Ramjit Raghav claims to have been born in India in around 1916. In his younger days, he worked as a professional wrestler. Later on, he switched to farming, which is his current occupation.
In November 2012, PETA selected Raghav to be one of its international ambassadors. He was featured in a PETA awareness-raising advertisement with the slogan "Vegetarians Still Got It at the Age of 96."
Raghav is a strict vegetarian, living predominantly on milk, almonds, and butter, and credits vegetarianism for his longevity and clean bill of health. He was quoted in a news piece by The Telegraph as saying,
I have been a vegetarian all my life, and I credit my stamina and virility to my diet of vegetables and grains. Being a vegetarian is the secret to my strength and good health.
Raghav, who previously had a handful of romantic partners who all predeceased him, including a spouse whom he married when he was 24, first became acquainted with Shakuntala Devi, who later married him, in around 2002. Devi was reportedly without a proper family at that time, and feeling sympathetic for her, Raghav took her to his home in Kharkhoda, taught her yoga, and then proposed to her. In an interview with the Daily Mirror, Raghav revealed that he had sexual intercourse with his spouse around three to four times daily. He was quoted as saying, "I think it's very important for a husband and wife to have sex regularly, and when she asks, I will go on all night."
In 2010, at the supposed age of 94, Raghav claimed to have become the world's oldest father when his wife, then aged 59, gave birth to a son, whom the couple named Bikramjeet. It was reported by multiple media sources.
In 2012, when Raghav claimed to have been 96, his spouse gave birth to another son, named Ranjeet. Raghav stated that the couple would not have a third child, as they were experiencing financial woes and needed to save up. He also announced that his wife would be undergoing tubal ligation to avoid the possibility of an accidental pregnancy.
Raghav's relationship with Devi became strained in early 2013 after Bikramjeet went missing when Devi fell asleep on a bus, waking to find him gone. Thereafter, in October 2013, Devi decided to leave her husband and left home with Ranjeet. In an interview with The Daily Mail, Raghav expressed faith that she would return home, "I think she will return soon. I am waiting. I love her and I know she loves me too."
Oldest fathers - worldwide comparison
The previous claimed record-holder was Indian farmer Nanu Ram Jogi. The website of the world record authority Guinness World Records lists the oldest father ever as Australian Les Colley (1898-1998), who fathered his ninth child at age 92 with a Fijian woman he met through a dating agency. In a random international sample of 11,548 men confirmed to be biological fathers by DNA paternity testing, the oldest father was found to be just 66 years old at the birth of his child. Regarding Raghav's case, an Indian hospital worker stated, "Having babies at such an age is a remote possibility, but it just needs one sperm to fertilise an egg." An American man named James E. Smith is said to have fathered twin daughters at the age of 101 or 102. However, the date that Smith's daughters were born varies from 1949 to 1951.
- Kim, Ju Ju (18 October 2012). "World's Oldest Dad, 96, Fathers Another Child". Time.
- Simon, Nik (28 November 2012). "World's oldest father becomes Peta posterboy". The Telegraph.
- "World's oldest dad, 97, devastated after wife leaves him following disappearance of their son". The Daily Mail. 3 October 2013.
- "Oldest Father". Guinness World Records. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
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- "Oldest Father: 94-years-old Ramjit Raghav set world record". World Record Academy. Retrieved 9 November 2013.
- "Man, Age 101, Claims to be Oldest Father". Indianapolis Recorder. March 25, 1950.
- "World's Oldest Father". Jet. April 3, 1952. p. 29.