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Maria Gomes Valentim, the World’s Oldest Woman, Dies at 114
by Jamie Frevele | 2:57 pm, June 22nd, 2011
Maria Gomes Valentim, who was the world’s oldest person at the age of 114 according to Guinness World Records, has passed away just a few weeks before her 115th birthday. She spent her entire life in Caranagola, Brazil and credited her longevity to eating well and treating herself to the occasional glass of wine. The Gerontology Research Group, which keeps track of the world’s oldest people, said that she died of pneumonia. The new title holder is another 114-year old woman from Monroe, Georgia, Besse Cooper.
Valentim and her successor are considered “supercentarians,” which means they lived not only past the age of 100, but past the age of 110. Less than 90 people are currently confirmed to have reached this amazing milestone. Valentim was the very first Brazilian to be recognized for this, besting Cooper (who had previously held the title) after her birthdate was confirmed. (Authorities are looking into this “pneumonia” thing as we speak … no they’re not. We’re pretty sure there was no foul play in this.)
Born in 1896, Valentim married her husband Joao in 1913 and was widowed in 1946. They had one son, four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and five great-great-grandchildren. Her diet included coffee, bread, fruit, and milk with linseed. So let it be known: carbs are okay. You can eat them and still live to be 114.
Cooper’s age is listed at 114 years, 229 days. The oldest-ever person recorded was also a woman, Jeanne Louise Calment of France, who lived to be 122.
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