As actor Robert De Niro announced that he welcomed his seventh child into the world at age seventy-nine, we are taking a look at some of the world’s oldest fathers, and De Niro looks young in comparison. Although De Niro has not yet revealed the name or sex of his newborn baby – or the identity of the baby’s mother, he did make it clear that he was the father and was eager to help raise the little one despite being a senior citizen.
The average age of men when they become fathers in the United States is thirty. However, the oldest confirmed father in the world is a retired Australian named Les Colley, who had a baby when he was ninety-two. While a man can technically conceive a baby into old age, there are some risks of having a baby with an elderly gentleman. The baby of an old father comes with health risks like a low birth weight or being born prematurely.
When we take a look back through history, we find that the oldest father on record is James E. Smith, who was allegedly more than one hundred years old when the woman he impregnated had a baby. Smith was a preacher living in Illinois and claimed that he impregnated his wife, Anna Smith, 38, when he was one hundred one years old and ten months, making him nearly one hundred two years old.
However, Smith’s real age has been disputed. He claimed to have been born in 1849, but there are records that show he might have been fifteen years younger than that. Records from a newspaper article published by the Southern Illinoisan on April 8, 1959, indicate that marriage records and an application for an undertaker’s license indicate that Smith was likely closer to eighty-six years old and ten months at the time of the baby’s birth.
The second oldest man to have fathered a baby was Ramjit Raghav from India. The man was ninety-four years old when he had his first son in 2010. Then, two years later, in September 2012, Raghav, then ninety-six years old, welcomed another son with his 54-year-old wife, Shakuntala. The longtime farmer said it was “God’s wish” to give him a second son, saying, “He wanted me to have another son.”
Unfortunately, there are no records to prove that Raghav was ninety-six when he had his second son.
Now, the man who holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s oldest father is an Australian retiree named Les Colley. When Colley had his ninth child, a son named Oswald, he was with his third wife, and he was ninety-two years old and ten months.
Colley met Oswald’s mother through a dating agency when he was a ninety-year-old senior citizen. The mother came from the island nation of Fiji. Colley met Oswald’s mother in 1991. Colley lived for several more years until he died from pneumonia just four months shy of his one-hundredth birthday.