The oldest age to which any person on documents has lived was a French woman, Madam Jeanne Calment, who was born in the small ancient Roman town of Arles in France on February 21, 1875 and died August 4, 1997 at age 122 years, 164 days. Jeanne Calment lived for 44724 days and she had the longest confirmed human life span ever. She sold colored pencil and canvas to Vincent van Gogh and saw the construction of Eifel Tower and both World Wars.
Genetics plays a moderate role in determining a person’s longevity. The rest depends on the environment, nutrition, and staying away from stress!
This video is taken when Jeanne was 119 years old. she talked about Vincent van Gogh and when he came into her uncle’s shop in 1888 (when she was 13) to buy canvas. She described him as “Dirty, alcoholic, badly dressed and disagreeable”
In 1965, at the age of 90, two years after her grandson’s death following an accident, Calment signed a contract to sell her apartment at the time of her death to a lawyer, François Raffray. In exchange Mr Raffray, who was 47 at the time, would pay her a monthly figure until she died. Having paid twice the apartments value, Mr Raffray died because of cancer at the age of 77 in 1995. His family continued to make payments to Ms Calment following his death. Raffray ended up paying Calment the equivalent of more than $180,000, which was more than double the apartment’s value. During all these years, Calment used to say to them that she “competed with Methuselah”.
Ms Calment led an extraordinary life and can be regarded as a phenomenon. In addition to her lifespan, other impressive feats included taking up fencing at the age of 85, continuing to ride her bike at the age of 100 and living by herself until the age of 110 (1985).
She was still in good shape, and was able to walk until a fall at age 114. This is her doctor’s statement about her health when she was 114: “Present health status and medical history of Jeanne Calment”. B. Forette. The present physical health status of Jeanne Calment is not normal, it is very good, as indicated by all standard clinical parameters. Everyday functioning is surprisingly good as measured by ADLs (activities of daily living). The three principal difficulties with which she is confronted are bilateral cataracts, deafness and an environment which confines her to a chair. The medical history is astonishing by its absence, up until an elbow and hip fracture at the age of 114.