Oldest person?

The oldest person to have officially ever lived was a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Calment who lived to the age of 122.

Mrs. Calment was born on February 21st 1875 in Arles France and died on August 4th 1997 in the same city. She claimed to have once met Vincent Van Gough and as a result became famous as the last person to have personally met the famous artist.

She outlived both her daughter and grandson who both died of old age.

In 1896 and at the age of 21 she married her husband Fernand Nicolas Calment who was also her double second cousin and six years her senior (born in 1869).

His wealth made it possible for her to never have to work. She therefore spent most of her long life in leisurely activity, pursuing hobbies and sports and devoting much of her time to the raising of her children.

Aged 67 Jeanne’s husband passed away of food poisoning in 1942 at the age of 73.

Jeanne was already 44 years old when the First World War broke out in 1914 and was old enough to see the Eiffel Tower being built.

In 1960 at the age of 85 Jeanne took up fencing, but smoked from the age of 21 in 1896 to the age of 117 in 1992.

She died of old age at 10:45pm on August 4th 1997.

The oldest living person still alive is 116 year old Mr. Jiroemon Kimura of Japan, born as  Kinjiro Miyake on April 19th 1897. He is also one of only 11 living persons to be officially recognized as being born in the 19th Century.

Jiroemon started his career in the 1920’s as an Imperial communications worker in the then Imperial Japanese colony of Korea. He married his neighbour Yae Kimura who died in 1978 at the age of 74.

Kimura has 5 surviving children, with 2 more who are now deceased, 14 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 14 great-great-grandchildren.

Kimura reportedly reads newspapers with a magnifying glass every day and follows Japanese politics very closely.

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