French woman, oldest person in the world, dead at 118

Title of world's oldest now falls to 115-year-old Spanish woman.

Updated: January 18, 2023 - 12:28pm

Sister André, the Catholic nun who was determined to be the oldest living person in the world, died on Tuesday at 118 years old. 

Born Lucile Randon in 1904, Sr. André was alive for nearly all of the major geopolitical and societal events of the 20th century, including the sinking of the Titanic, both World Wars, the widespread adoption of automobiles, the rollout of the Internet, and countless other major developments. 

Notably, the nun survived through the two major pandemics of the last century, the Spanish influenza of 1918 and the COVID-19 crisis that began in 2020. She was assessed to be the oldest survivor of COVID-19 after she recovered from the disease in 2021.

Sister André was just a few years away from beating the standing record of oldest person ever known, which was set by another Frenchwoman, Jeanne Louise Calment, who died in 1997 at 122 years old.

The world's oldest person is now thought to be Maria Branyas Morera of Spain at 115 years.

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