World’s oldest known person dies at 118, now making an American-born woman the oldest human


A French woman believed to be the world’s oldest person has died shortly before her 119th birthday.

Lucile Randon, a nun known as Sister André, was born in the town of Ales in southern France, on Feb. 11, 1904.

A spokesperson for her nursing home in southern France, David Tavella, said she died in her sleep early Tuesday.

Here’s what we know about Randon and the other people who have owned the title of world’s oldest person:

Who was Lucile Randon?

Tavella said Randon died at 2 a.m. on Tuesday at the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home in the town of Toulon.

The Gerontology Research Group, which validates details of people thought to be 110 or older, listed her as the oldest known person in the world.

In April last year, asked about her exceptional longevity through two world wars, she told French media that “working … makes you live. I worked until I was 108.”

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In this file photo taken on February 10, 2021, Sister Andre, Lucile Randon in the registry of birth, the eldest French and European citizen, prays in a wheelchair, on the eve of her 117th birthday in Toulon, southern France, where she has been living since 2009. The world’s oldest known person, Lucile Randon, known as Sister Andre, died at age 118, her spokesman said on January 17, 2023.

She was known to enjoy a daily glass of wine and chocolate.

Randon was also one of the world’s oldest survivors of COVID-19. She tested positive for the coronavirus in January 2021, a few weeks before turning 117, but she had so few symptoms that she didn’t even realize she was infected.

Who is the world’s oldest living person now?

The oldest living known person in the world listed by the Gerontology Research Group is now American-born Maria Branyas Morera, who is 115.

Born in California on March 4, 1907, Morera is a supercentenarian who now lives in Spain.

Who was the oldest known person to die?

Jeanne Calment of Arles, France, lived to the age of nearly 122 ½.

A French supercentenarian and the oldest human whose age is documented, Calment lived of 122 years and 164 days.

In this Feb. 12, 1997 file photo shows Thomas, 5, looks at Jeanne Calment after he brought her flowers at her retirement home in Arles, southern France. Calment, believed to be the world's oldest person, died at the age of 122 in 1997

In this Feb. 12, 1997 file photo shows Thomas, 5, looks at Jeanne Calment after he brought her flowers at her retirement home in Arles, southern France. Calment, believed to be the world’s oldest person, died at the age of 122 in 1997

Born Feb. 21, 1875 she died on Aug. 4, 1997.

Her longevity attracted media attention and medical studies of her health and lifestyle. She is the only person verified to have lived to the age of 120 and beyond.

What is the oldest country? The answer depends on what you think counts as one.

Who was last oldest known person to die?

Japan’s Kane Tanaka died at 119 last year.

She was born on Jan. 2, 1903 and died April 19, 2022.

She was born before the Wright brothers’ first powered flight and died as the world’s second-oldest person ever, according to Guinness World Records.

Contributing: The Associated Press; Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY

Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: World’s oldest known person Lucile Randon dies at 118 in France





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