World’s Oldest Known Person Dies At Age 118


Lucile Randon, a French nun who was the oldest known person on Earth, died at age 118, French media outlets Tuesday, following a long life that began before the first World War and that Randon credited to a daily glass of wine.

Key Facts

Randon, better known to the people of France by her nickname Sister André, died in her sleep this week at the nursing home in Toulon, France, where she spent the final years of her life, according to AFP.

Sainte Catherine Labouré nursing home spokesman David Tavella said Ranon’s death was “a great sadness” but that for her, “it’s a liberation.” (In an interview last year, Randon told reporters she was ready to die and reunite with her late relatives in heaven.)

Guinness World Records named Randon the oldest living person in April 2022 at 118 years old, after the death of Kane Tanako, a Japanese woman who lived to be 119.

Randon, who said she only stopped working at age 108, last year partially credited her longevity to her habit of drinking “a small glass of wine every day.”

Big Number

122. That’s at what age the oldest known person to ever live, Jeanne Louise Calment, died in 1997 according to Guinness. Like Randon, Calment was French and said wine was her secret to long life, along with olive oil and chocolate.

Crucial Quote

“It’s not nice being old, because I used to like taking care of others, making children dance, and now I can’t do that any more,” Randon told reporters at her 118th birthday last year.

Key Background

Randon was born in Arles, France, on February 11, 1904, a full decade before the beginning of World War I. She told reporters last year that her favorite memories were of when her two brothers returned home from the war. Born into a non-practicing Protestant family, Randon converted to Catholicism at age 19 and worked at a hospital for nearly three decades caring for children and the elderly. She became a nun at age 45 in 1944 when she joined The Daughters of Charity, and took the name Sister André to honor her late brother. She only stopped working at age 108, Randon told reporters last year.

What To Watch For

Who Guinness will confirm as the oldest living person. After Randon’s death, the oldest person on Earth is believed to be 115-year-old María Branyas Morera, who was born in the U.S. but now resides in Spain.

Further Reading

World’s oldest person dies at age of 118 (AFP)

The Secret To A Long Life? Ask Sister André, The World’s Newest Oldest Person (Forbes)