French nun Lucile Randon, known as Sister Andre, who was believed to be the world’s oldest person has died a few weeks before her 119th birthday, a spokesman for her nursing home said (Daniel Cole/AP)
18 January 2023

World’s oldest known person dies at 118

18 January 2023

A French nun who was believed to be the world’s oldest person has died a few weeks before her 119th birthday, a spokesman for her nursing home said on Wednesday.

Lucile Randon, known as Sister Andre, was born in the town of Ales in southern France, on February 11 1904.

She was also one of the world’s oldest survivors of Covid-19.

Spokesman David Tavella said she died at 2am on Tuesday at the Sainte-Catherine-Laboure nursing home in the town of Toulon.

The Gerontology Research Group, which validates details of people thought to be 110 or older, listed her as the oldest known person in the world after the death of Japan’s Kane Tanaka, aged 119, last year.

Sister Andre tested positive for coronavirus in January 2021, shortly before her 117th birthday, but she had so few symptoms that she did not even realise she was infected. Her survival made headlines both in France and beyond.

In April last year, asked about her exceptional longevity through two World Wars, she told French media that “working … makes you live. I worked until I was 108.”

She was known to enjoy chocolate and a glass of wine daily.

The oldest living known person in the world listed by the Gerontology Research Group is now American-born Maria Branyas Morera, who is living in Spain, and is 115.

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