World’s oldest person dies weeks before 115th birthday

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  • The world's oldest person, Brazilian Maria Gomes Valentim, put her longevity down to coffee, bread rolls, milk – and minding her own business

    A Brazilian woman, the first to officially hold the title of World’s Oldest Person, died on Tuesday of multiple organ failure just weeks before her 115th birthday.

    Maria Gomes Valentim, known as ‘Grandma Quita’, would have turned 115 on July 9th, but the Guinness Book of Records reported on its website on Tuesday that Valentim died at the age of 114 years, 347 days.

    Last month, Guinness reported that Valentim, attributed her long and healthy life to eating a good diet: eating a bread roll every morning with coffee, fruit and the occasional milk with linseed.

    But her family added that she always made a habit of minding her own business, which she claims was the secret to her longevity.

    ‘She always said that she lived long because she took care of her own life and didn’t meddle in the lives of others,’ says 63-year-old granddaughter Jane Ribeiro Moraes.

    Valentim was born on July 9th, 1896, in the city of Carangola, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, where she lived all her life.

    She married in 1913, but survived her husband, Joao, and her only son. She leaves behind four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and five great-great grandchildren.

    With Valentim’s passing, the title of Oldest Living Person reverts back to American Besse Cooper, age 114 years, 299 days, says Guiness.


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