The previous wasn't 119 years old, but, Jeanne Louise Calment who lived to
be 122 until her death in 97. http://www.wowzone.com/calment.htm
Sarah (Clark) Knauss lived to be 119 and died in 1999, perhaps they state
Gina "Nanogirl" Miller
> Seattle Times
> Sunday April 16,2000 edition
> By Mark Fineman Los Angeles Times
> Portsmouth, dominica - At first glance, there doesn't appear
> to be much left of Elizabeth Israel.
> Her leathered and furrowed skin sags from a frail 90-pound
> frame. She hasn't walked in a couple of years and went blind
> in November. From time to time, her sentences trail off.
> But as she greeted a visitor in her simple plywood shack on
> a recent afternoon, her handshake was firm. Her elegant
> appearance confirmed what her friends and neighbours say:
> She insists that her hair and her earrings be just so.
> Through her neighbours, she reminisced in her native Cocoy
> dialect about what a "wicked boy" that Adolf Hitler was, about
> how rocky her only marriage was - coming so late in life, in 1925
> - and about the three grandsons she has outlived.
> All in all, not bad for a women who, according to church records
> turned 125 in January.
> In fact, Dominicans beleieve Israel is the world's oldest person.
> This nation's Roman Catholic archdiocese issued an official
> baptismal certificate just in time for Israel's birthday, declaring that
> she was born Jan. 27,1875. The document confirms an entry a
> neighbour unearthed in December in a tattered church registry,
> which recorded Israel's baptism on Jan 30 of that year.
> Based on that certificate, Israel's friends have submitted her
> name for inclusion in the next edition of the Guiness Book of World
> Records, which will be out in October. And since Sarah Knauss,
> the record holder listed in the lastest edition, died Dec 30 at age
> 119 in Allentown, Pa., Israel appears to have a good shot.
> The story of Israel, known to all her neighbours as Ma Pampo,
> goes beyond record books. It is a tale of roots, human endurance
> and the lessons that such a long life can teach.
> The daughter of a freed slave, Israel worked on a lime and coconut
> plantation for about 90 years for pennies a day. She retired about 21
> years ago and lives penniless in a blue clapboard shack. yet she is
> blessed by the love and charity of her neighbours.
> By way of perspective, in the year the records show Ma Pampo was
> born, Ulysses Grant was president of the United States and Queen
> Victoria was on the British throne. The following year, Alexander
> Graham Bell invented the telephone - a device Ma Pampo never
> has owned.
> She has survived two world wars, the island's sometimes violent
> struggle for independence, a coup and countless uprisings,
> although her clearest memory is of explosions from offshore naval
> battles during World War II.
> "She's a no-nonsense women," said Dominican broadcaster Alexander
> Bruno. "She's aware of everything. She smiles. She laughs. She tells me
> everything she's heard on the radio.... She knows who she voted for last
> month. She knows she's 125."
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