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Oldest Person In The World
World's Oldest Person - What is he eating ?
Freddie Mercury asked who wants to live forever, but perhaps he should have asked the oldest person in the world in order to get a good idea of how appealing the idea really is. He might have had difficulty mind – as verifying who indeed the oldest person in the world is can be somewhat tricky, and as there are many claims to the title. Here we will look at the official oldest person in the world ever to have lived, and the oldest person to have lived today – and we will ask what the secret is to that kind of longevity.
The oldest person in the world ever to have lived is generally considered officially to have been Jeanne Calment – a French woman who lived to 122 years between the years 1875 and 1997. She was a 'supercentenarian' and of course her long life span gave her a colorful experience (though she lived in Arles for her entire life). At the age of 12 she met Vincent van Gogh, survived both world wars and was the last surviving person born in the 1870s. At one point she was over five years older than any other living human on the Earth (after the death of fellow supercentenarian Tane Ikai). Despite many claims she is the only person ever to have been confirmed to live past 120 years making her officially the oldest person in the world.
Jeanne Calment married her second cousin at the age of 21, a wealthy man who ensured she never had to work and could spend her life pursuing a range of hobbies. She had a child named Yvonne Marie Nicolle Calment in 1898, though Jeanne would ultimately outlive her to raise her Grandson (whom she also out-lived). Her husband died in 1942. at 73.Not only did Jeanne live to become the oldest person in the world, but she remained active, youthful in appearance and healthy throughout her life even taking up fencing at age 85 and riding her bicycle until she reached 100. She lived on her own until her 110th birthday and was only moved into a home after an accidental cooking accident – and she smoked her whole life until the age of 117. And what did she ascribe her success to? Olive oil of course – which she poured on her skin and bathed her food in. She was also a fan of port wine (known to be rich in anti-oxidants and resveratrol – both of which are anti-aging and anti-cancer) and chocolate.
So who is the oldest person in the world alive today? Well that award goes to Besse Cooper – 115 years old at the time of writing and living in the United States. Besse was born in 1896 and is one of only 23 people to have reached the verified age of 115. Besse was the third of eight children and worked as a teacher during her youth. She married one Luther Cooper in 1924 but was widowed in 1963. She has four children, twelve grandchildren and many more great-grandchildren.
So the oldest living person today and the oldest person in the world ever are both women – which is somewhat typical as women statistically live longer than men. The oldest man ever was Christian Mortensen who lived to 115 and 252 days. His advice for reaching his age was 'friends, a good cigar, drinking lots of good water, no alcohol, staying positive and lots of singing'. Another claimant to the oldest living man is Shigechiyo Izumi who was believed by some to have lived to 120, though this is disputed. The oldest living man today is Jiroemon Kimura in Japan at 114.