The World’s Oldest Human

Written by Kristen Holder
Updated: January 31, 2023
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Due to advancements in modern medicine, the human lifespan has almost doubled in some parts of the world. While most people hope to reach 80 years old, a few people are much older. Who is the world’s oldest human?

Who is the World’s Oldest Living Human?

Lucile Randon, popularly known as Sister André, is the oldest human alive at 118 years old. Lucile was born on February 11, 1904, in Alès, France. She currently lives in a nursing home in Toulon, France that’s been her home since she was 105.

Randon had a twin sister named Lydie who died a year after their birth. She began working as a governess at 12 years old. From 1922 to 1936, she worked as a governess at Versailles.

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Lucile Randon is a nun for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1923 at 19 years old, she converted from Protestantism which was her family’s religion.

She’s the oldest survivor of COVID-19 and she lived through the Spanish Flu epidemic in 1918. She’s been in a wheelchair for around a decade and she’s blind. Randon has never had an age-related illness.

She describes her longevity as a “sad honor” and she’s stated that she’d “be better off in heaven.” She drinks a glass of wine and has some chocolate every day.

Alès, France

Alès, France, the home of the oldest human alive.

© Deguffroy

Who was the Oldest Human Ever?

Jeanne Calment was 122 years old when she died on August 4, 1997, which makes her the oldest human to have ever lived. She was born in Arles, France on February 21, 1875. She said she met Vincent Van Gogh as a young teenager but this was never verified.

Her father was a shipbuilder named Nicolas Calment. Her maternal aunt named Jeanne Gilles was her godmother. François Calment, her older brother, was also long-lived and died at the age of 97.

Her husband, Ferdinand Calment, was her cousin. They had a daughter named Yvonne who went on to marry and have a child named Frédéric. Both died when they were 36.

Jeanne liked to be active. In her 80s, she learned how to fence. She rode bikes regularly after her one-hundredth birthday.

She smoked until she was 120 but she did quit before she died. Jeanne attributed her longevity to chocolate, olive oil, and port.

Scientists know that human life expectancy is increasing and that Jeanne Calment’s record will eventually be broken. Studies are attempting to guess when the next record holder will live. Right now, it’s projected that Jeanne’s record will be broken by 2046 and that a human will live beyond 125 years old by 2060.

Aged Woman

Women outliving the life expectancy and carrying on the honor of being named oldest people in the world.

©Magomed Magomedagaev/

Who is the Oldest Living Human in the United States?

The oldest living person in the United States is Bessie Hendricks who was 115 years old. She was born on November 7, 1907. She died in January 2023 at a nursing home in Lake City, Iowa.

Hendricks experienced the death of her mother when she was just 13. She raised her siblings and developed an excellent work ethic in the aftermath of her mom’s passing. Bessie was a teacher at a one-room school.

Bessie raised 5 children and her daughter, Joan Schaffer, is 90 years old. She has outlived two of her kids. Hendricks said that enjoying sweets, avoiding the doctor, and hard work allowed her to live such a long life.

Aged Woman

Women are known to outlive men.

©Laurin Rinder/

Who is the Oldest Unverified Human in the World?

Claiming the true title of the oldest person on earth requires verification. However, one woman alive today in Bom Jesus da Lapa, Bahia, Brazil is supposedly 122 years old. Maria Gomes dos Reis was born on June 16, 1900, according to a paper birth certificate the family has.

Her granddaughter named Celia Gomes, age 63, takes care of her grandma full-time. She also receives caretaking aid from two of her great-grandchildren.

Maria hasn’t been able to care for herself for about 8 years as she’s bedridden. She also has memory issues and has to be hand fed.

Other longevity claims exist that don’t have the same wealth of unverified information as Maria Gomes dos Reis. For Maria, her age probably could be verified if her family decided to pay the fees to complete the process.

In other countries, particularly in Indonesia, there are claims that individuals have lived over 140 years. In Ethiopia, there are claims that an individual has lived for over 170 years. Scientists believe that humans physically cannot live beyond 125 years old so it’s unlikely that these claims are valid.

Who is the Oldest Living Man in the World?

Juan Vicente Pérez Mora is the oldest man in the world at 113 years old. He lives in Venezuela and was born on May 27, 1909.

He was the ninth of ten children born to parents named Edelmira and Juan. He’s the first Venezuelan man to become a supercentenarian.

When he was five, he started working alongside his dad in agriculture. He was mostly involved in coffee and sugar cane harvests. He went to school for five months when he was ten and he achieved literacy through self-teaching from a book his teacher gave him.

Juan’s wife was named Ediofina and they were married for 60 years before she died in 1997. They had 11 children together. Today, Juan’s family consists of dozens of descendants including 12 great-great-grandchildren.

His relationship with God is important to him and he attributes some of his longevity to his faith. He also thinks that hard work, resting on holidays, an early bedtime, and a drink every day helped him achieve his old age. His drink of choice is aguardiente which can have up to 60 percent alcohol by volume depending on the manufacturer.

Venezuela streets

Streets in Venezuela, the country that is home to the oldest man in the world.

© Rondon

Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

Most of the oldest people in the world are women. That’s because men tend to die a few years earlier than women.

In America, women may reach 81 years old while males can expect to reach 76. Other countries have higher or lower statistics based on factors like access to healthcare and standards of living. There are also regional differences in average life expectancy in the United States and elsewhere.

Some scientists think that the higher estrogen levels in women help control cholesterol and the frequency of heart disease. Studies are beginning to show that men have weaker immune systems than women on average.

The higher the socioeconomic status of the individual in question, the more likely they are to live longer. Richer people also do not suffer from the age gap in life expectancy found between genders in other financial situations.

Old lady having fun

Women in the United States live longer than men and still enjoy life in old age.


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The photo featured at the top of this post is © Magsi/

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About the Author

Kristen Holder is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering topics related to history, travel, pets, and obscure scientific issues. Kristen has been writing professionally for 3 years, and she holds a Bachelor's Degree from the University of California, Riverside, which she obtained in 2009. After living in California, Washington, and Arizona, she is now a permanent resident of Iowa. Kristen loves doting on her 3 cats, and she spends her free time coming up with whimsical adventures geared toward exploring her new home.

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