Gerontology Wiki
Jozsef Petho
Jozsef Petho
József Pethő at the age of 104.
Birth: 14 March 1895
Gyóró, Sopron, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary)
Death: 16 October 2002
Rábacsanak, Győr-Moson-Sopron, Hungary
Age: 107 years, 216 days
Country: HungaryHUN

Jozsef Petho [Hungarian: Pethő József] (14 March 1895 – 16 October 2002) was a Hungarian centenarian. At the time of his death, he was the third-oldest known living person and the oldest living male in Hungary.


József Pethő was born on 14 March 1895 (although he claimed 13 March), in a farm near Gyóró, Austria-Hungary (present-day Hungary). He started to herd cattle at the age of 6, and harvest at the age of 13. In 1906, the family moved to Rábacsanak, where József lived the rest of his life. His father emigrated to the United States and came back 20 years later with $4,000, from which they bought land, but their savings got lost due to the extreme inflation.

József participated in WWI for three years. He lost nine of his teeth in battles, and they were eventually never replaced. In 1921, he married Magdolna Bella. They had two sons and one daughter. He was also drafted to WWII, but this time he did not see action. In peacetime, he lived the simple but busy lives of rural people. He got widowed in 1968.

As a centenarian, József was living with a son and daughter-in-law. At age 100, he would still chop wood and care for the animals in the stable. At age 102, he fractured his pelvis, but was able to recover in a few weeks’ time. He did not take any medicine as he had no health issues, except for the pain in his legs.

József Pethő became the oldest living man in Hungary upon Karoly Molnar’s death in June 2001. He was the second-oldest voter in the 2002 parliamentary elections behind Sandorne Csiki. He died on 16 October 2002, in Rábancsanak, at the age of 107 years, 216 days.


Hungary's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

Geza Penzes • (Unknown) • Janos Puskas • (Unknown) • Henrik Havasi • (Unknown) • Zsigmond Kun • Jeno JenovaiKaroly Molnar • Jozsef Petho • Gyorgy Laszlo • Gergely Andras Molnar • Gusztav KarolyJozsef Pelles • Rezso Gallai • Tibor Kosa • Miklos Angelus • Antal Ribnikar • Elemer SpieglerJozsef Kasalyak • Jeno Homonnay • Bela Csendes • Jozsef Standovari