World’s oldest person dies peacefully in sleep at 118
Wednesday, 18 January 2023 (11:27 IST)
French nun Sister Andre, who was recognized by the Guinness World Records last April as the oldest person alive, passed away on Tuesday, less than a month before turning 119.
Already blind and wheelchair-dependent, Sister Andre passed away during her sleep at her nursing home in Toulon, the French AFP news agency cited her spokesman as saying.
Born Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904 to a Protestant family in southern France, she converted to Catholicism at the age of 26 and joined the Daughters of Charity order of nuns aged 41.
How did she become the world's oldest person alive?
Sister Andre was born the same year the New York subway was launched, and an entire decade before World War I started.
In early 2021, Sister Andre tested positive for asymptomatic COVID-19, during an outbreak in her nursing home.
The Guinness World Records listed her as the oldest person alive in April last year, after the death of Japan's Kane Tanaka aged 119. Before that, she carried the title of the oldest European alive.
Sister Andre told reporters last year that working and caring for others was the secret behind her long life.
"People say that work kills, for me work kept me alive, I kept working until I was 108," AFP quoted her as saying.
However, the nun turned down requests to analyze her DNA samples, saying that the secret of her longevity was something "only the good lord knows."