Alabama's claim that folk artist is 112 disputed

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The weekend death of the nation's oldest man at age 112 has put into question whether Alabama folk artist Frank Calloway is also 112, as he is listed by state officials.

If so, he would now be the nation's oldest living man. But top gerontologist dispute the age claim, citing a lack of a birth certificate or baptismal records and Calloway's youthful appearance.

Calloway gained wide notice this year for his murals drawn on long sheets of paper at Bryce Hospital. He has been a patient of the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation for 56 years.

Department spokesman John Ziegler said Monday the state is standing by its records, which show he was born on July 2, 1896. But he said documents are being reviewed and other records sought for confirmation.

The nation's oldest man, George Francis, died Saturday in Sacramento. He was born on June 6, 1896.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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